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Mistakes in judgment can mar celebrations

May 4, 2012
The Herald-Star

In the weeks ahead, stories in this newspaper will list thousands of names of Tri-State Area students who have accomplished so much so early in their lives.

From honors banquets to academic dinners, Tri-State Area students have or will be honored in their respective school districts for their achievements. From outstanding academic and civic achievement winners to career technical awards of merit and graduating with honors recipients, our area graduates have much to celebrate.

The future can hold the hopes and dreams of scholarships, college, employment and marriage, but not if one foolish decision ends it all.

With that said, we congratulate the members of the Class of 2012 and wish them a safe, fulfilling and prosperous future.

But we realize that visions of caps and tassels and celebrations are at the forefront of area graduates' minds, and we issue this reminder to keep safety at the forefront in the days ahead. Family celebrations and graduation parties with friends means students should remember to use common sense when it comes to celebrating and especially drinking and driving.

The fact remains motor vehicle crashes are the No. 1 cause of death among youth ages 16-19, accounting for more than one in three deaths in the age group. There were approximately 3,000 youth motor vehicle deaths nationwide in 2009, according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention statistics. Nearly 31 percent of teen drivers killed in motor vehicle crashes had been drinking and 77 percent of this group was not wearing their safety belts.

Exciting times are just around the bend for many area seniors, so we ask that each one of you take a minute and consider your future - your hopes and dreams. Please don't spoil any plans, and what's already been accomplished, by a stupid impulse. Don't give in to drinking and driving, drugs or other bad decisions this graduation season or at any time for that matter.

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