Without treading on the stirring scripts of all those commencement speakers waiting in the wings for their moment in the sun -- or rain -- at Washington-area high school graduations, we offer one bit of advice to the classes of '86: live it up by keeping the drinkers from doing the driving. Tonight and on into the coming weeks, there will be more than a little partying -- and drinking. There also will be more than a few police officers around in every jurisdiction in the region, not to put a damper on the festivities but as part of an area-wide campaign to make the season a happy one -- free of deaths caused by drinking drivers. With security this tight, drivers had better not be.

The fact is, the No. 1 killer and crippler of teen-agers today is drunk driving. Period. That's why police, parents, students, teachers and government and business groups all around town are trying to spread the word and offer help. As part of "Project Graduation," conducted so well each year by this coalition called the Washington Regional Alcohol Program, volunteers are providing dial-a-ride systems for free transportation and are placing reminder cards on tables at proms, in tuxedos, caps and gowns and even corsages.

Maybe this year's graduates know how to play it smart, how to keep a friend and how to live to tell about it. We hope they know that there is nothing clever, manly or cool about driving after drinking.