Rangers Conduct Successful Safety Checkpoint

August 16, 2010
Grand Teton National Park rangers issued 48 warnings and six citations—including three arrests— during a traffic safety checkpoint conducted late Saturday evening, August 14 and early Sunday morning, August 15 on Highway 26/89/191 at the park’s south boundary. In just over four hours, park rangers processed safety screenings for 497 vehicles.

The goal of the operation was to identify and correct safety violations and reduce the number of impaired drivers in an effort to make roads safer for the traveling public. Rangers received overwhelmingly positive comments from motorists who passed through the late night checkpoint. Many individuals thanked park rangers for helping to make roads safer and for protecting park wildlife.

Of the six citations that were issued, three were for driving under the influence of alcohol, two for having an open container, and one for possession of a controlled substance. Of the 48 warnings, over half were issued for not wearing a seatbelt—a federal law and a practice that saves lives.

During the safety checkpoint, vehicles and drivers received an initial screening. Of those, 33 drivers and vehicles exhibited potential clues of impairment or other serious safety hazards and were consequently directed to a secondary screening location. Rangers administered 11 field sobriety tests during the operation.

The last time rangers conducted a traffic safety checkpoint was in 2006. That evening, rangers screened 300 vehicles, arrested four drivers for driving under the influence of alcohol, and issued nine citations: three for having an open container, one for possession of a controlled substance, and five for public intoxication to individuals under 21 years of age.

The following statistics were collected during the 2010 checkpoint:
Total Citations – 6
DUI – 3
Open container – 2
Possession of a controlled substance – 1

Total Warnings – 48
No seatbelt – 28
Headlight out – 3
Tail/Brake light out – 3
License plate lamp out – 10
No or expired vehicle registration – 2
No or expired insurance – 2