BAR HARBOR, Maine (NEWS CENTER) – Acadia National Park announced its plans to crack down on people driving under the influence.
Park officials said high traffic volume over the summer season means accidents do happen, but many of them involve distracted driving or impaired drivers.
"We want people to come to the park and take really good memories of the fun they had in the park, not the accident they were involved in because somebody was under the influence,” park spokesperson Christie Anastasia said.
The park is joining a national campaign with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration by implementing safety checkpoints throughout the park.
Park Rangers will be conducting routine traffic safety checks to see if the driver is under the influence, according to park officials.
Some park visitors were shocked by the move to ramp up patrols, concerned it could worsen traffic issues.
"There's quite a bit of traffic,” visitor Mark Croteau said. "But that is surprising."
Park officials say some may see it as an inconvenience -- but their priority is the safety of the millions of people who visit each year.
People killed because of impaired driving has skyrocketed nationally. Here in Maine there were more than 1,300 alcohol-related accidents last year—a nearly 12 percent increase over the last five years.
"We've been driving across the country. We came in from Missouri,” Tanya Sherman said. “So I think it's a good idea."
According to park officials, the checkpoints will be in effect through the fall and will likely become standard practice moving forward.
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