Wednesday, local law enforcement and emergency personnel did their best to make an indelible impression on the students with a graphic recreation of a fatal drunk-driving accident.
Every year, Park City police officers, Summit County sheriff's deputies, Utah Highway Patrol troopers, emergency medical technicians and a full cast of supporting characters turn out en masse to describe the horrors of responding to fatal accidents involving teenagers, and of delivering the news to their friends and family.
The annual docu-drama is always a sobering experience -- still, it is hard to say whether Wednesday's lesson will last through the coming week of graduation celebrations.
To make the message stick will require absolute cooperation throughout the community from convenience store clerks and grocery checkout personnel who need to be extra-vigilant about checking IDs, to older brothers and sisters who will, no doubt, be pressured to smuggle in a six-pack, to every parent planning to host a get-together for the gleeful grads.
The message must be crystal clear: Throughout Summit County, alcohol will not be sold or served to anyone under the age of 21.
Summit County residents must be united -- and vocal -- on this front, not only because our own children's lives may be at stake, but also because graduates from across the Wasatch Front like to eye Park City's nightspots and the county's remote canyons for their after-graduation parties.
It may be tough for residents of this liberal bastion to assume the unfamiliar role of authoritarian hardliner, but the alternative is unacceptable. As the Park City High School Parent Teacher Organization so articulately warns in her letter on this page, serving alcohol to minors is not only against the law but it is also unforgivably irresponsible.
Some, of course, will argue that teens intent on buying alcohol will certainly find it. But, trust us, you don't want to be the one who provided the drink that killed a friend's son or daughter.