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Holiday travel means DUI enforcement

Residents and visitors enjoying trips
By: Bridget Jones, Journal Staff Writer
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Local law enforcement agencies are reminding residents to keep safe driving practices in mind this Labor Day weekend. According to AAA, 3.5 million Californians will be on the road this weekend, an 11.6 percent increase over 2009. “Despite the continued mixed feelings regarding the economic recovery, a strong comeback in travel is anticipated for this holiday weekend,” said Cynthia Harris, AAA Northern California spokeswoman. “Compared to last year, fewer Californians are expected to pull back on discretionary spending, which will have a considerably positive impact on travel.” Officers and deputies from all agencies in Placer County are sending out clear messages to drivers this weekend. The California Highway Patrol will be continuing its maximum enforcement period for those driving under the influence. “Everyone can enjoy this Labor Day weekend, while keeping safety in mind,” said Bill Donovan, California Highway Patrol Auburn Area commander. “The highways will be heavily traveled this weekend with families driving to various locations. Mixing these factors with alcohol, speed, not wearing a safety belt, and talking on cell phones can lead to a deadly consequence.” Twelve people died in California crashes last Labor Day, and 75 percent of those killed were not wearing seatbelts, according to the Highway Patrol. The California Highway Patrol arrested 1,417 people for driving under the influence last Labor Day weekend. According to the Highway Patrol, residents are encouraged to call 911 to report drunk drivers over the weekend. Callers should provide a description of the vehicle in question, its location and direction. During the weekend seven Placer County law enforcement agencies will continue their “Avoid the 7” campaign. Between Aug. 20 and Aug. 27, these departments had arrested 34 people for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, according to Lincoln Police Officer Todd Rayback. This weekend officers and deputies will be focusing their attention on stopping and arresting drivers who are under the influence, according to Rayback. Those who do drink and need a ride home can call the AAA Tipsy Tow Program at 1-800-222-4357. This service includes a one-way ride for the driver and driver’s vehicle to his or her home. Auburn resident Tom Sisson said he and his wife, Barbara, were traveling to Downieville Thursday and returning Sunday. Sisson said he is looking forward to mountain biking and being with his family. “(This trip is for) relaxation and mountain biking,” Sisson said. “Downieville is known for having an 18-mile downhill (slope), so it’s fun. We go camping a lot, so it’s just another good reason to go out of town and go camping. I’ve got a little 2-year-old, and he’s just getting into it. It’s all about spending time with the family.” Auburn resident Jim Allison is going to San Francisco Monday with his Bluegrass band, the Pleasant Valley Boys, to play at a concert. Allison said he is definitely looking forward to the concert, but has some concerns about traffic. “It’s going to be tough because that is the direction that I guess most people going home from the weekend are going to be traveling.” Oregon resident Denise Vendley is visiting Auburn this weekend with her son Chase, 9. Vendley said one of her friends is moving from Oregon to Auburn, and another is moving from the Bay Area to Roseville, so the trip was a nice way for everyone to get together and have a luau. “Our friends have a big pool and that has been fun,” she said. “I grew up in the Bay Area, and we are going to Tahoe to the beach for a day, and we could never do that (when I was growing up), because we lived four hours away.” Vendley said she has had to get used to the heat and the freeway traffic in this area, which are abnormal for Oregon. Vendley said Chase’s school year begins next week, so visiting Auburn was a nice way to wrap up the summer. “Auburn is really nice,” Vendley said. “(After driving through Sacramento), I was really surprised. It’s just this little pocket that’s (pleasant).” Reach Bridget Jones at bridgetj@goldcountrymedia.com