This weekend dozens of Charlotte area high schools with be holding their commencement ceremonies to say goodbye to their senior class of 2012. This is a great milestone for many graduates and it acknowledges their dedication and perseverance.

For many students, high school is not an easy time and some forget how important a high school degree can be in the future. A high school diploma is the foundation for higher education and success in the workforce. Statistics show that earning a high school diploma greatly increases a person’s employment opportunities and earning potential. And the outlook gets better with each higher level of education that is achieved.

Students will be going out to celebrate this new achievement and safety should be on everyone’s mind. All too often we hear news stories about high school students with bright futures who lives are ended much too early due to drinking and driving. According to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) these types of accidents spike in June when students are out celebrating. Teens can also face criminal charges for underage possession or consumption of alcohol and many could face charges alleging underage DUI.

Parents can get involved by talking with their graduates. Teen should be aware of the dangers of underage drinking and their parents expectations. Parents should know who their teen is going out with and what their plans are for the night.