Finding A Designated Driver On St. Patrick’s Day Isn’t Luck. It’s Smart.

Dover – St. Patrick’s Day is just two weeks away and the Delaware Office of Highway Safety (OHS) is reminding everyone to make plans to secure a designated driver if you plan to go out and celebrate the holiday. The New Castle County DUI Task Force is planning to coordinate a checkpoint to coincide with the pre-St. Patrick’s day festivities in Wilmington on Saturday, March 10th.  Finding a designated driver on St. Patrick’s Day won’t be luck, it will be smart.

While many will be participating in pre-St. Patrick’s Day festivities on the 10th, OHS will also be coordinating additional statewide DUI enforcement for St. Patrick’s Day weekend (March 16-17).  Agencies conducting DUI saturation patrols include Clayton PD, Dover PD, Felton PD, Georgetown PD, Harrington PD,  Laurel PD, Middletown PD, Milford PD, Millsboro PD, New Castle County PD, Newark PD, Newport PD, Seaford PD, Smyrna PD, and Delaware State Police.  The New Castle County DUI Task Force will be conducting 1 sobriety checkpoint on March 16th.  Last year, police arrested a total of 66 individuals for DUI during St. Patrick’s Day enforcement activities.

“This St. Patrick’s Day, we remind everyone to make plans to find a safe way home if you plan to drink alcoholic beverages,” said Jana Simpler, Director of the Office of Highway Safety. “Don’t risk a DUI arrest or getting involved in a crash- designate a driver before you leave home.”

In 2011, 36% (37 of 103) of all vehicle deaths in Delaware were alcohol related.  Since January 1st of this year, there have been 2 alcohol-related traffic deaths compared to 3 at this time last year.  For more information on OHS’s year round DUI efforts please visit, visit us on Facebook at or follow us on Twitter @DEHighwaySafe. Adds a New Phone Directory Search Tool

DOVER, Del. (February 29, 2012) – The Delaware Government Information Center (GIC) has released an innovative new phone directory search tool designed to help citizens find the right state office to answer their questions or provide them with desired services. The new search tool,, is part of the state’s award-winning web portal and is designed to work equally well on desktop computers, laptops, pad-style devices and smartphone browsers.


“We strive each day to make government more accessible to the public and to provide exceptional service in all that we do,” said Governor Jack Markell. “A critical part of accessibility is making sure people can easily find the contact information they need.”

The system pulls information from a database created and maintained by staff in the GIC, working with state agency leaders. The database is based on internal state agency phone listings but has been updated with new types of information and carefully edited and augmented in order to guide users to the most helpful contact points within state government.

The new directory allows users to search by individual, agency or thing. A person seeking recreational opportunities might search for “Parks and Recreation,” or simply “trails” and find not only phone numbers to call, but maps of office locations, website links and links to any social media that agencies use, as well.

Each listing also includes a Quick Response (QR) Code that links to a virtual business card listing, designed for ease of use on smartphone and mobile screens and which can be saved to a user’s personal contacts list.

Phone directory detail - map view

“We are working to make government more efficient and effective by creating easy-to-use eGovernment tools for Delawareans,” said GIC Director Greg Hughes. “This is part of a larger eGovernment effort, led by GIC and involving partners from agencies throughout state government.”

The GIC is part of the Delaware Department of State and is charged with ensuring that the public has free and equal access to state, local, and federal government information and resources or, as the GIC staff like to put it: “connecting citizens to government.”

The GIC manages the web portal; advises state agencies on website design, eGovernment, and social media policy; and assists local governments with their web sites.

Governor’s Weekly Message: “I Love To Read” Month

Dover – In his weekly message, the Governor focuses on developing a lifelong love for reading, something that began for him when his parents handed him his older brother’s copy of Chip Hilton.

“To celebrate reading, to help cultivate a love – not just of Dr. Seuss – but of the power of words to move, to teach, to lead, to inspire, we declared February as “I love to read!” month in Delaware,” said the Governor.  “ It’s a time for parents, public officials, and people like me who are a bit of both – to head into classrooms to read to kids and in the process try and get them hooked, on books. When the month is over, we hope those parents and, more importantly – those kids – keep reading.”

At noon every Friday, the Governor’s office releases a new Weekly Message in video, audio, and transcript form.  The message is available on:

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Transcript of Governor Markell’s Weekly Message: “I Love To Read” Month

Governor’s Weekly Message Transcript: “I Love to Read” Month

It’s “I Love to Read” Month and I have a special message for Delaware children.

Kids across Delaware know there’s probably no Hat on their actual Cat, or Socks on a Fox. They know Where the Wild Things Are, when to say “Goodnight, Moon!” and to say “no” when the Pigeon wants to Drive the Bus.

They know because they’re reading, or being read to by adults who know how exposure to books early in life can have an enormous impact on academic successes later.

To celebrate reading, to help cultivate a love – not just of Dr. Seuss – but of the power of words to move, to teach, to lead, to inspire – we declared February as “I love to read!” month in Delaware.

It’s a time for parents, public officials, and people like me who are a bit of both – to head into classrooms to read to kids and in the process try and get them hooked, on books. When the month is over, we hope those parents and, more importantly – those kids – keep reading.

One book I bring with me now to schools is “Blue Bear Finds a Rainbow.”

In part, because of the story’s uplifting message about the value of friendship.

In part, because (spoiler alert) of the book’s happy ending.

But mostly because this fun book was written here in Delaware by somebody I know we’ll be reading a lot more – both about and from – in the future.

Blue Bear was written by our state’s own McKenzie Leigh Betts when she was in third grade. As happy as we were to learn about Blue Bear’s success with that Rainbow, we were more excited to learn about McKenzie and the inspiration she can be for other kids across the state.

There are a lot more ways to read a book now than there was when I was a kid, when my parents handed me my older brothers’ copy of Peter Rabbit.

But the results from reading are the same now as they were then– to build a foundation for a lifetime of learning.

Thanks again for all you do, to keep Delaware, moving forward.

DUI Checkpoint Set For February 24th

DOVER – The Checkpoint Strikeforce campaign has set a DUI checkpoint for Friday, February 24. The checkpoint will be conducted by the New Castle County DUI Task Force, in Wilmington.

The Checkpoint Strikeforce campaign is a crackdown on impaired driving.  Delaware will conduct two DUI checkpoints each month until July, when weekly DUI checkpoints will resume.  This campaign is aimed at removing impaired drivers from our roadways and deterring those who might otherwise choose to drive after drinking alcohol or using drugs.

The Office of Highway Safety reminds motorists that traffic deaths kill and injure Delawareans nearly twice as often as violent crimes.

For more information on Checkpoint Strikeforce visit and follow regular campaign updates on Twitter at and Facebook