Youthful Indiscretions

How do bartenders spot underage drinkers?

Oh, yeah. Something about cleavage.

Of course, bartenders understand this method as well. "You see them walk in and head away from the bar into the farthest corner," says Ian Green, bartender at The Londoner. "There are dead giveaways."

So they've seen it all and heard it all, yet underage drinkers still manage the occasional night on the town. "There are a few question marks every night you work," Bauman says. "You have to really watch."

Officers with TABC also run sting operations, so only bartenders who truly enjoy the group shower experience treat underage drinking lightly.

"The more you do this, the more it moves to the back of your head," Salazar admits. "But it's still there, and you still think about it. Something about the drink or the way they act will catch your attention, and it'll click."

Yet even Alexander understands that minors will always beat the system. "It requires a lot of diligent effort," he says, "but I'm not sure any of the methods are foolproof."

But just to be safe, ask her age before you buy her a drink. That'll go over well.

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