SPRINGDALE – Zion National Park will enhance impaired driving enforcement over the Fourth of July weekend through expanded DUI (Driving under the Influence) checkpoints and increased road patrols.
For too many Americans, the nation’s annual celebration is filled with tragedy, as it is one of the deadliest holidays of the year when it comes to alcohol-impaired traffic fatalities. Statistics gathered from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration over the past 25 years show that, on average, nearly half of all fatal traffic accidents occurring over the Fourth of July holiday weekend involved alcohol.
Superintendent Jock Whitworth said, “The Fourth of July is a time when many Americans celebrate with family and friends and enjoy their national parks, but it is also one of the deadliest times on our roadways. The goal of increasing our enforcement efforts is to keep impaired drivers off of the road and ensure that visitors can safely enjoy their time in the park.”
Although most visitors to the park share in a safe and enjoyable holiday experience, the use of alcohol may lead to incidents of public intoxication, disorderly conduct, and drunk driving. Park officials encourage those who choose to drink alcohol to drink in moderation and to not drive while drinking alcohol.
“Alcohol impairs many of the skills that safe driving requires, especially on the unique roadways within Zion National Park. In an effort to protect visitors and park resources, we will show zero tolerance, and anyone caught driving with a blood alcohol content of .08 or higher will be arrested,” Whitworth stated.
Impaired driving is one of America’s deadliest problems. In 2009 alone, 10,839 people were killed in alcohol-impaired driving accidents, accounting for nearly 32 percent of all traffic related fatalities in the United States. This total would average one impaired driving fatality every 48 minutes.