Holiday meant more DUI arrests

Residents say traffic not an issue
By: Bridget Jones, Journal Staff Writer
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Local law enforcement agencies made more Labor Day DUI arrests than last year in Placer County. The Placer County “Avoid the 7” campaign took place from Aug. 20 to Sept. 6. This year the seven participating law enforcement agencies arrested 96 people throughout the county for driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, according to Lincoln Police Officer Todd Rayback. According to Rayback, 55 arrests were made during the same time period in 2009. There were no DUI-related deaths reported last year or this year in Placer County. The arrests were made through sobriety checkpoints, special saturation patrols and routine patrols, according to Rayback. In the Auburn area the California Highway Patrol arrested three people for driving under the influence. There were 14 traffic collisions, one of which was related to someone driving under the influence, according to Officer John Bonfilio of the California Highway Patrol. While there were no traffic deaths, some involved in the accidents were transported to hospitals, Bonfilio said. Cal Fire responded to a fire in the local area over the holiday weekend. At about 10:13 a.m. Monday a fire was reported on Doe Run Lane in Newcastle. The fire destroyed a 2,000-square-foot guesthouse, according to Lynne Tolmachoff, communications operator at the Cal Fire Grass Valley Command Center. “The roof collapsed and (the house) was a total loss,” Tolmachoff said. No one was in the building at the time, and the fire was contained by early Monday afternoon, according to Tolmachoff. Newcastle, Penryn, Auburn and Placer County fire crews also responded to the blaze. According to Chelsea Fox, spokeswoman for Cal Fire in Placer, Nevada and Yuba counties, the cause of the fire was accidental. “It was ruled electrical,” Fox said. “It (started from) inside the home.” There were no other notable fires reported in the immediate Auburn area, according to Fox. While there were a few arrests and some residential burglaries, there were no spikes in any type of crime in Placer County Sheriff’s Office jurisdiction, according to Dena Erwin, spokeswoman for the Sheriff’s Office. “It was very quiet for the Sheriff’s Office,” Erwin said. Auburn resident Kristi Midgley stayed in town with her 6-week-old son over the holiday weekend and said the traffic going through Auburn didn’t bother her. “It really didn’t (seem compacted) to me,” Midgley said. “I wasn’t out Friday night, but Saturday and Sunday it didn’t – not any more than usual.” Auburn resident Debra Barbarick said she decided to just stay in the city and joked about calling the holiday Lazy Day rather than Labor Day, because she just wanted to rest. Barbarick said because she lives in Downtown she likes to walk everywhere, so traffic didn’t cause her any problems. Barbarick said she did see more people in Auburn and heard them asking about what there was to do in the area. “There were more people down in Old Town for sure,” she said. Reach Bridget Jones at