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MEDIA ADVISORY – Whelan To Hold News Conference With MADD On Ignition Interlock Bill

‘Ricci’s Law’ Would Mandate Ignition Interlock Devices for All Drunk Driving Offenses

TRENTON – On Thursday, June 12, Senator Jim Whelan will hold a news conference with representatives from the New Jersey and national chapters of Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), as well as the family of Richard “Ricci” Branca, an Egg Harbor Township youth who was killed by a drunk driver, to promote legislation requiring ignition interlock devices for all drunk driving offenses.

The bill, S-1926, known as “Ricci’s Law,” would make ignition interlock devices mandatory for all drunk driving offenses and to require their installation while driving privileges are suspended. Ignition interlock devices are designed to block vehicles from starting unless the driver is sober, by requiring drivers to blow into a breathalyzer-type device before they can successfully start their car. The legislation is named for Ricci Branca, who was killed by a drunk driver at the age of 17, while riding his bicycle home from a friend’s house in Egg Harbor Township.

The news conference will be held on the steps of the War Memorial in Trenton at 12:00 PM. In the even of inclement weather, the news conference will be moved to room 103 in the State House, across from the Senate Chambers.

WHO: Senator Jim Whelan, D-Atlantic; Sherri and Richard Branca, parents of Ricci Branca; Mindy Lazar and Christie McGowan, New Jersey chapter of MADD; national MADD representative.

WHAT: News conference to promote S-1926, “Ricci’s Law.”

WHERE: Steps of War Memorial, Trenton, NJ (Rain Location: Room 103, Statehouse).

WHEN: 12:00 PM, June 12, 2008

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