New Year’s Day is a time for fresh starts and resolutions, but New Year’s Eve has other traditions.

It is the night of the year when some people act like the usual rules don’t matter and the night when many young people will have their first experience of over-indulging with alcohol. In some cases it is sure to end with tragic results.

The best known danger is drunken driving, and we know that such collisions — you really can’t call them accidents — take about 50 lives a year on Maine’s roads.

But when it comes to teenagers, the dangers don’t go away if they don’t get behind the wheel.

According to teen drinking prevention groups, there are more than 5,000 alcohol-related deaths of young people every year, and only about one-third of them involve driving.

Drownings, suicides, homicides and alcohol poisoning also take lives needlessly.

That does not even account for the long-term damage to a developing brain, or the start of lifelong habits that can lead to addiction.

Taking away the car keys might make parents and other hosts think they have done their jobs, but their caution should go further.

Adults should talk directly to their teens and make it clear how much is at stake. They should also take a minute to consider what kind of nonverbal messages they are sending by the way they use alcohol in their celebrations.

This year, the resolutions should start early, so there can be fewer tragic endings as a new year dawns.