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Contact: Therese Picard, 435-772-7852
Zion National Park will enhance the enforcement of impaired driving over the Fourth of July weekend through expanded DUI checkpoints and increased road patrols. According to Superintendent Jock Whitworth, "Rangers in the National Parks have two essential missions. One is to preserve and protect natural and cultural resources in perpetuity. The other is to provide for the safe enjoyment of those resources by visitors."
Impaired driving crashes killed more than 10,000 people in 2010, accounting for 31 percent of all traffic-related deaths in the United States. That's an average of one alcohol impaired driving fatality every 51 minutes.
The percentage of deaths from impaired driving spike around the Fourth of July. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 392 people were killed in motor vehicle traffic crashes during the 2010 Fourth of July holiday period.
Zion National Park's enforcement is aimed to keep all visitors, local residents, and wildlife safe on the park's roads. Impaired driving in Zion is especially dangerous due to the narrow roads, steep drop-offs and sharp turns. Whitworth said "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."
Zion National Park rangers wish for all visitors to have an enjoyable July Fourth Holiday. This should include driving safe and sober or appointing a designated driver for those who have over indulged.