Rangers at Great Smoky Mountains National Park have announced plans to conduct two sobriety checkpoints and ramp up traffic patrols between June 24 and July 10, in conjunction with a program sponsored by the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). As part of this wave of DUI reduction activities, Park Rangers will be conducting checkpoints on June 25 on the Tennessee side of the Park and on July 8 on the North Carolina side of the Park. Visitors can expect to see Park Rangers out in force during this period looking for impaired drivers.
The Park received funds in 2010-2011 from NHTSA to implement a High Visibility Law Enforcement program, a nationwide project to reduce or eliminate alcohol-related crashes and fatalities through highly publicized law enforcement activities.
According to Chief Ranger Clay Jordan, “The main objective of this enforcement action is to bring attention to the serious consequences of driving while under the influence of alcohol. Motor vehicle crashes are by far the most common cause of serious injuries and fatalities at the Smokies and alcohol is a contributing factor in too many of these wrecks.”
He continued, “We’re capitalizing on this opportunity and are very hopeful that if people understand there is a strong probability that they will be caught and arrested, motorists will be less inclined to drive impaired. We want to save lives and prevent injuries; not necessarily arrest individuals.”