While spending time in New York City over the last week, Lohan, 24, calmed her nerves with a string of nightclub outings, reportedly hitting seven different hotspots in four days.
On Thursday while at Riff Raff’s, an onlooker tells PEOPLE that Lohan was “with a girlfriend and she was clutching onto her signature can of Red Bull. She was definitely in a partying mood.”
Also on Thursday, Lohan hit up SL and 1Oak where a clubgoer says Lohan wasn’t drinking. “She was in a great mood having a good time catching up with friends, dancing,” the clubgoer says.
Adds the clubgoer: “She was under a microscope because people were waiting to see if she was going to drink, but she didn’t.”
While multiple club sources say the starlet made sure to stay away from alcohol, an insider at one of Lohan’s other stops says the actress was back to her old ways.
“Saturday night at [new restaurant] Beauty & Essex, Lindsay was at a table with her brother and sister,” the source says. “She was ordering and drinking cocktails, texting nonstop, taking pictures and acting a little crazy.”
Yet another source at the same club insists the actress was not drinking. Instead, Lohan ordered beer-battered lobster tacos, chicken meatballs in wild mushroom truffle sauce and seared nori spiced tuna.
But even without any drinking involved, could Lohan – who by rules of her probation is forbidden to go to places where alcohol is the primary item of sale – get in legal trouble for her nightlife antics?
According to L.A. criminal defense attorney Steve Sitkoff, who is unaffiliated with the case, this is a gray area. “A prosecutor could very well collect evidence that Lohan’s been frequenting these places as grounds for a probation violation or having her bail revoked, which could lead to jail time,” he says.
“However,” Sitkoff adds, “the definition of a place where alcohol is the chief item of sale is sometimes murky, especially if the establishment also doubles as a restaurant.”
As for how Lohan’s recent habits could affect her recovery, one expert says the star’s current lifestyle is problematic.
“This will definitely lead back to relapse,” Howard Samuels, founder and CEO of the Hills Treatment Center in Los Angeles, tells PEOPLE. “There’s no question about that because the behavior hasn’t changed. I don’t have an issue with sober people going to clubs, but they usually go with tons of other sober people, and they’re sober a year, two years, three years. Recovery is all about taking contrary action to the way that you used to be.”
Continues Samuels: “It’s going to take a lot more personal pain in her life in order to break through the denial that she has to make a major life change.”
The L.A. probation department, as well as Lohan’s lawyer Shawn Holley, had no comment on any of these reports.
• With reporting by KEN LEE and CARLOS GREER