The party’s over for underage celebrities

Lindsay Lohan ruined it for aspiring underage celebrities who want to get into Hollywood clubs. After Lindsay’s underage DUI bust the California Alcohol Beverage Control Board is going to place undercover cops at the trendy places in order to try and catch the under-21 crowd drinking up. It’s not enough, they say, to see the pictures in the gossip rags. They have to actually witness the star teens in the drunken act:

A wave of publicity about underage drinking among celebrities has prompted the California Alcohol Beverage Control Board to step up undercover activities at several top nightspots. The ABC is seeking a 15-day closure order for Mood, a trendy Hollywood Boulevard club that was the subject of an undercover investigation.

Paparazzi photos made last year show Lohan, actors Mary-Kate Olsen and Frankie Muniz and Jesse McCartney, all underage at the time, partying there. (Lohan did not go to Mood on the night of her accident.) One photo posted on various celebrity websites showed McCartney, then 18, drinking from a Corona bottle at Mood.

But ABC officials said it takes more than a copy of Us Weekly to prove wrongdoing.

“We can’t prove what’s in the glass or where they were,” said John Carr, a spokesman for the agency. “We need a witness on the ground.”

The case against Mood is considered an important test. Some clubs seem willing to risk being caught serving underage stars if it will bring A-list talent — and A-list publicity — to their establishments, said L.A. City Councilman Eric Garcetti, whose district includes part of Hollywood Boulevard and who asked state officials for heightened patrols.

“To make a club profitable, they have to be celebrity-driven,” Garcetti said. “People are willing to bend over backward to please celebrities. But you can’t bend so backward that you break the law.”

It took the California Alcohol Beverage Control Board long enough to take notice. Last year TMZ published photos of then 18 year-old Jesse McCartney drinking at Mood and said that Mary-Kate Olsen, Lindsay Lohan, and Frankie Muniz, all under-21 at the time, were regulars.

If the authorities want to build a case against an establishment, they can send in young-looking decoys to see if they get carded as well as put operatives in the crowd to check the IDs of underage-looking patrons.

Where I live in Switzerland the drinking age is 16 for beer and wine and 18 for hard liquor. I’m not saying that the US drinking age should be lowered because I think that people have to drive by necessity in the states and that the higher drinking age may help prevent a lot of teen DUIs. In Europe kids can drink earlier, but they can also take the bus or public transportation a lot easier. Here’s more information about the legal drinking age throughout the world.

Young Lindsay Lohan is shown drinking a mocktail in a picture from the NY Daily News [via]

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