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DUI crackdown arrests 10 in Auburn

‘Avoid the 7’ task force in effect over Memorial Day weekend
By: Jon Schultz, Journal Staff Writer
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A drunken driving task force arrested 10 suspected offenders during the holiday weekend in Auburn as seven Placer County law enforcement agencies engaged in a crackdown effort.

The Auburn Police Department arrested six people and the California Highway Patrol reported four driving under the influence arrests and one for reckless driving.

Preliminary reports from the “Avoid the 7 Placer DUI Task Force” show that Memorial Day weekend DUIs are about on par with recent years, said Auburn Officer Richard Blanco.

“It tells me that there hasn’t been a lot of change, I don’t think, in people’s perception of what they should be doing as far as drinking and driving. They’re still out there doing it. But it also tells me that it hasn’t gotten any worse,” Blanco said. “All we can keep doing is enforcement and education.”

The California Highway Patrol deployed all available officers throughout the weekend for a maximum enforcement period on freeways and county roads.

David Martinez, CHP public information officer, said the amount of offenders it arrested suggests possibly more people are planning ahead.

“It’s a pretty small number,” Martinez said. “Hopefully people are being more responsible. I don’t think that people aren’t going to drink, but I think people are making the decision to plan ahead, which is what we promote.”

Maximum enforcement also keys in on distracted driving and seatbelt use, he said.

So-called “saturation patrols” took effect across the region Friday through Monday, and a DUI checkpoint had been set up in Granite Bay on Memorial Day from 2 to 7 p.m., Blanco said.

The checkpoint yielded two DUIs in the mid afternoon, he said.

“Most people are camping or away from their homes,” Blanco said. “The checkpoint was set up in the Granite Bay area next to Folsom Lake. A lot of campers and boaters use the lake, so it’s in the general vicinity of the lake.”

Checkpoints are mainly for “educational purposes” he said, and members from Mothers Against Drunk Driving don reflective vests and spread their message to drivers who come through the area.

The “Avoid the 7 Placer DUI Task Force” is funded by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. It will next deploy checkpoints and DUI patrols during the Independence Day weekend.

 

Jon Schultz can be reached at jons@goldcountrymedia.com. Follow him on Twitter @Jon_AJNews