Poor choices in life often have consequences that can impact many people for years.

With the onset of fall comes homecoming, hunting seasons and other celebrations that can sometimes lead young people to make poor decisions when getting behind the wheel.

We urge parents, teachers and other adults in Borderland to make clear to the young people in their lives that life, as they know it, can change in an instant as a result of a poor choice behind the wheel.

Homecoming serves as a right of passage, of sorts, celebrating the maturity that comes with a new school year and brings students into a new grade. Kings and queens are crowned and we face off with a team from other school for bragging rights. It’s an event that should be remembered for the rest of someone’s life.

It’s easy to see why young people celebrating the big win, or the loss, of the homecoming game may be tempted to indulge in forbidden alcoholic beverages to toast or commiserate the occasion. After all, many have seen for years the adults in their life celebrate, grieve and watch football with alcohol in their hands.

Add to the discussion the “hands-free” driving law that took effect Aug. 1 that bans drivers from talking on the phone unless they are using a hands-free device.

Parents must remind their young drivers that the excitement of the celebration is no excuse to call or text friends about their activities. With or without alcohol, young drivers may be tempted to call or text friends which could result in, on the light side, an expensive ticket, on the more serious side, an accident that injures or even kills family or friends.

These are exciting times for young people, but the adults in their life have the responsibility to make sure they understand the rules and encourage them to take them seriously.

Poor choices and their consequences could haunt young people for forever. But thinking about the future is one way to keep them safe in the present.

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