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May 23, 2012 (Poway) -- There's an alarming report about teens behind the wheel. A new study released by the American Automobile Association or AAA this month shows teen drivers are more likely to be involved in a deadly crash if they've got other teens in their car. The study finds having friends in the car can be a deadly distraction for young drivers, but that risk is greatly reduced when parents or other adults are in the car.

The Sheriff's Department is dedicated to saving lives and reducing injuries on the roads. Since June 2010, free Start Smart classes have been regularly offered to new drivers and their parents/guardians so they clearly understand their responsibilities when a teen starts to drive. A wrecked SUV from a deadly DUI crash is on display to emphasize the dangers of drunk and distracted driving.  The  class  also  clarifies  the  restrictions  of a provisional license and social host rules in the county.

This Thursday, May 24th 400 people from Poway High and other schools in the area are expected to attend a  Start Smart class at the Poway High Performing Arts Center, 15500 Espola Road from 6:00 p.m. to  8:00 p.m. Schools in the district require  the class for parking on campuses.

The featured speakers at this class include Erin Limonchi whose mother Pamela Marabeas was killed by a teen drunk driver in Santee in September 2009. Also sharing her tragic story is the mother of Poway High cheerleader Veronica Aguirre. The 17
yearold was killed in a DUI crash north of Escondido in December 2009.

Deputy Todd Murphy of the Poway Sheriff's Station as well as the featured speakers are available for interviews 30minutes before the class begins and the when class concludes. For more information, please call Deputy Murphy at (858) 5132800. To learn more about the next Start Smart class in your area, visit http://bit.ly/fdRkfa. 

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