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Josh Hutcherson Says U.S. Drinking Age Should Be Lowered To 18 (VIDEO)

Posted: 04/12/2012 12:17 pm Updated: 04/12/2012 12:39 pm

We're sure you were just dying to know what "The Hunger Games" star Josh Hutcherson's thoughts are on the legal drinking age in the United States.

Hutcherson's 19-year-old "Hunger Games" co-star Alexander Ludwig prompted an investigation by the California Dept. of Alcoholic Beverage Control into Hollywood bar the Sayers Club, after the underage actor was spotted leaving the 21+ hot spot on Tuesday night.

Naturally, when TMZ spotted Hutcherson, also 19, leaving an LA restaurant last night, they wanted to know his opinion on the legal drinking age.

"I think the age to go to war is 18, so I think the drinking age should be 18 as well," he told the website as he was trying to find a taxi.

It's no secret that Hollywood's underage stars (like many American teenagers) drink, and it's no secret that Hollywood hot spots regularly open their doors to them -- just ask Drew Barrymore, who began life on the party circuit at age 10. Or recall Lindsay Lohan, who had been spotted at 21+ clubs since the age of 17. In 2007, the then-20-year-old's arrest on suspicion of driving under the influence, after she crashed her Mercedes convertible, sparked a similar investigation from the California Alcohol Beverage Control Board, but little to nothing has ever changed.

Hollywood nightclub owners are welcoming underage celebrities with seemingly open arms. Some clubs are willing to risk being caught serving underage stars if they bring A-list talent and A-list publicity to the clubs, LA City Councilman Eric Garcetti, told the Los Angeles Times in 2007.

"To make a club profitable, they have to be celebrity driven," he said. "People are willing to bend over backward to please celebrities."

It's not just Hollywood hot spots that bend the rules for young celebrities -- squeaky clean stars Justin Bieber, 18, and Selena Gomez, 19, were reported to have recently left a Florida sports bar looking intoxicated (they appeared the same way at Bieber's 18th birthday party in March).

Do you agree with Josh Hutcherson and is it OK that Hollywood nightclubs disregard the legal drinking age for underage stars? Let us know in the comments and take our poll:

Quick Poll

Should the legal drinking age in the U.S. be lowered to 18?


Check out these former teen stars who found themselves in hot water with the law:

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  • Orlando Brown

    "That's So Raven" star Orlando Brown was <a href="" target="_hplink">arrested in August 2011</a> and charged with a DUI. Cops pulled over the former Disney star for driving without a license plate. When they went in for a closer look, Brown smelled of alcohol and when given a breathalyzer test, he blew over the 0.08 BAC limit. <a href="" target="_hplink">Brown has struck a plea deal</a> that will keep him out of jail. The 23-year-old actor pled no contest and was given 36 months probation, ordered to pay a $390 fine, sentenced to a single day in jail, ordered to attend alcohol education classes and must attend 10 Alcoholics Anonymous meetings.

  • Mitchel Musso

    Former "Hannah Montana" star Mitchel Musso was <a href="" target="_hplink">arrested on October 16, 2011 and charged with two counts of drunk driving</a>. The 20-year-old actor who currently stars on Disney's "Pair of Kings" and lends his voice to the Disney cartoon series "Phineas and Ferb" was pulled over after he failed to slow down for police officers who were directing traffic. When given a breathalyzer test Musso blew well above the 0.08 percent BAC limit. If convicted on both counts Musso faces a maximum of six months in jail and a $1,000 fine. <a href="" target="_hplink">But as TMZ notes</a>, first-time DUI offenders in LA County aren't sentenced to jail time unless there are aggravating circumstances, which in this case there are not. The actor is due in court November 11.

  • Christina Aguilera

    Former mouseketeer, Christina Aguilera was <a href="" target="_hplink">arrested for public intoxication</a> in May 2011. The singer's boyfriend Matthew Rutler was pulled over by police who saw the car "burn rubber" and fishtail onto a street. The couple smelled of alcohol and Rutler failed his breathalyzer test, blowing 0.09 BAC. While Christina was a passenger, cops said she appeared "too drunk to care for herself and had no driver to take her home." She was arrested on suspicion of being drunk in public, so police could hold her at the station to sober up. Although she was arrested, cops said she wouldn't be prosecuted because she has no criminal intent, but the misdemeanor arrest remains on her record. <blockquote><strong>CORRECTION</strong>: This slide previously stated an incorrect BAC level for Rutler. We regret the error.</blockquote>

  • Lindsay Lohan

    Lindsay Lohan has the distinct honor of being arrested more times than any other Disney star. The actress who starred in the remake of Disney's classic "The Parent Trap" and the Lovebug reboot "Herbie: Fully Loaded," was <a href="" target="_hplink">first arrested May 26, 2007 on suspicion of driving under the influence</a> after her car struck a curb in Los Angeles. Police also reported they found a substance they believed to be cocaine at the scene. Two days later Lohan checked herself into what would be her second stint in rehab and during her stay was accused of being drunk when she crashed into a parked van in October 2005, alleges a lawsuit against her. On July 24, 2007, less than two-weeks after she left her 45-day stay at Promises, Lohan was <a href=",,20047886_20047878,00.html" target="_hplink">pulled over by police and arrested on five counts</a>, including driving under the influence of alcohol, driving on a suspended license and possession of narcotics. She heads back to rehab hours after the arrest. On August 23, the actress was charged with seven misdemeanor counts for her two DUI arrests. With a plea deal it is agreed that Lindsay will spend one day in jail, serve 10 days of community service and complete a drug-treatment program. She was also given 36 months of probation and had to complete an 18-month alcohol education program. In addition she also had to finish a three-day county coroner program that requires she talk to victims of drunk drivers and visit a morgue. After showing up late to a probationary hearing to review her cases on October 16, 2009, Lohan lands herself another year of probation tacked on to the initial 36 months, because she failed to complete the alcohol education classes. A warrant was issued for Lindsay's arrest and is ordered to post $200,000 bail after her SCRAM alcohol-monitoring ankle bracelet went off in June 2010. The next month she was <a href="" target="_hplink">sentenced to 90 days in jail and 90 days in rehab for violating her probation. </a> Lohan serves only 14 days in jail and begins her court-ordered 90 day rehab program, which she only serves 23 days of after doctors said she had done everything required of her. After <a href="" target="_hplink"> failing a drug test</a> in September 2010, a judge revoked her probation, denied her bail and sent Lindsay back to prison. Lohan's lawyers appealed the decision and had it overturned -- Lohan was released after posting $300,000 bail that day. Later that month <a href="" target="_hplink">she checks into the Betty Ford Center</a> for substance abuse rehab. In October a judge orders Lohan to stay in rehab until January for violating her probation. Just three weeks out of rehab Lohan is accused of walking out of a jewelry store with a <a href="" target="_hplink">necklace and was later charged with felony grand theft</a>. In April 2011, Lohan spends five hours in custody before posting a <a href="" target="_hplink">$75,000 bond </a>after she was <a href="" target="_hplink">sentenced to 120 days in jail</a> for violating her DUI probation by being charged with the necklace theft. <a href="" target="_hplink">In May, Lohan is sentenced to 120 days</a> for stealing the necklace, which she will serve at home, and only <a href="" target="_hplink">serves 35 days of house arrest</a>. She also got 480 hours of community service. On October 19, 2011 Lohan's <a href="" target="_hplink">probation was revoked</a> after she was kicked out of the community service program at an L.A. women's shelter. Lohan posted $100,000 bail and the judge set a hearing for November 2, to see if Lohan will serve jail time. Then on October 20, Lohan was <a href="" target="_hplink">late to morgue duty</a> and turned away. The next <a href="" target="_hplink">day she shows up early and tries to apologize</a> by buying the morgue staff lunch at In N' Out burger.

  • Shia LaBeouf

    Former "Even Stevens" star, Shia LaBeouf, was arrested at a Chicago Walgreens after he appeared drunk and refused to leave the store in November 2007. The "Transformers" actor was hit with a misdemeanor criminal trespassing charge. Those charges were later dropped by Walgreens who decided they weren't interested in pursing the case. In March 2008, a warrant was issued for the actor's arrest after he didn't show up to a hearing in relation to a ticket he received for unlawful smoking in Burbank, California. When the actor's lawyer showed up the next day to plead not guilty the warrant was recalled, and the charges later dismissed after the actor paid a $500 fine. In July 2008, Shia ended up in the hospital after he crashed his car and injured his hand. Although police determined LaBeouf was <a href="" target="_hplink">not at fault</a> for the accident, he was still <a href="" target="_hplink">charged with a DUI</a> and his license suspended for a year. In February 2011, the actor found himself in handcuffs after he got in an altercation with another bar patron and got punched in the face. Lucky for Shia no charges were filed. <a href="" target="_hplink">Most recently in October 2011</a>, the actor was involved in another bar fight in Vancouver, Canada. In video footage, the actor is repeatedly punched in the head by another bar guest. No charges were filed at this time.

  • Britney Spears

    Former member of the "Mickey Mouse Club" Britney Spears was arrested and hospitalized in January 2008 after <a href="" target="_hplink">she barricaded herself in a bathroom with her son Jayden and refused to come out.</a> The singer had refused to return her two sons to their father Kevin Federline after a court-monitored visit. Police were called and Britney was said to be babbling and incoherent, arguing with officers in a way that made no sense. After a three-hour standoff Britney was arrested, strapped to a gurney and taken to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, where she was held for 72-hours for psychiatric for treatment and evaluation. No criminal charges were filed, but the singer <a href="" target="_hplink">lost custody</a> of her sons Jayden and Sean Preston following the incident.

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Filed by Stephanie Marcus  |