MPH offers free program for teen drivers, parents

Are you the parent of a new or soon-to-be driver?

Manlius Pebble Hill School is offering Central New York parents and their teenage children a special one-night-only program on safe and responsible driving. The program, free and open to the public, will be held at 7 p.m., Monday Dec. 13 in the Fayetteville-Manlius High School auditorium.

"DWI Night" will address topics ranging from seat belt laws and rules regarding child car seats to responsible decision-making about drugs and alcohol. Among the local authorities participating in the MPH-sponsored program are Eugene Conway, chief of police in the town of DeWitt; Randy Andrews, youth education officer for the town of DeWitt police; Onondaga County Senior Assistant District Attorney Chris Bednarski and Fayetteville Village Court Judge Thomas J. Miller. They will talk to young drivers about what happens when a police officer stops a driver for suspected use of drugs or alcohol, about the prosecution of impaired drivers and about what happens to DWI offenders in the courtroom.

Special guest speaker Mary Litz, of Solvay, will draw on her own family's nightmare in talking about the worst that can happen when someone drives drunk. Her 24-year old son, Erik Kohler, was killed in January of 2009 by a driver impaired by both drugs and alcohol.

Debbie Kogut, of Onondaga County Health Safety, and Bob West, head instructor in Manlius Pebble Hill's driver education program, will also be a part of the program, which will be moderated by Donald Barrett, director of the Community Network Program.

Those with questions about Manlius Pebble Hill School's "DWI Night" should call the MPH Community Programs Office at 446-2452.

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