Thursday, June 21 , 2018, 1:36 pm | Mostly Cloudy 68º


Local News


Labor Day Travelers See Lowest Gas Prices in a Decade

Nearly 90 percent of the millions venturing this holiday weekend will be on the road

Gas prices for this Labor Day Weekend are the lowest in a decade, although prices in Santa Barbara County and the state are higher than the national average.
Gas prices for this Labor Day Weekend are the lowest in a decade, although prices in Santa Barbara County and the state are higher than the national average. (Gina Potthoff / Noozhawk photo)

Most Labor Day weekend drivers will see the lowest gasoline prices since the same period in 2004.

In California, where gas prices are historically higher than the rest of the U.S., the average for regular unleaded gasoline is $3.35 per gallon, according to a Triple A travel report.

Nationwide, where 35.5 million people are expected to travel for the three-day weekend ahead of Monday’s federal holiday, the average price per gallon is $2.47.

Santa Barbara’s average price per gallon is an even more expensive $3.46, but several local gas stations were posting prices as low as $3.11 per gallon on Thursday, including at Educated Car Wash at 3735 State St., according to

Triple A forecasts nearly 90 percent of travelers will venture by road, but the Santa Barbara Airport is preparing for an influx of its own in the sky.

Airport Director Hazel Johns said flights via Alaska, American and United Airlines show the busiest days will be Friday and Monday.

Flights to Seattle, Portland, San Francisco, Denver, Phoenix and Los Angeles are on average 90 percent full, she said.

She reminded passengers to arrive early and those picking up or dropping off to not idle unless loading or unloading.

Because of the influx in drivers, several local law enforcement agencies will conduct DUI checkpoints throughout the weekend.

The Santa Barbara Police Department will set up checkpoints somewhere in the city on Saturday between 6 p.m. and 2 a.m., according to Sgt. Mike Brown.

He cited research that shows crashes involving an impaired driver can be reduced by up to 20 percent with well-publicized DUI checkpoints and routine patrols.

“Over the course of the past three years, DUI collisions have claimed eight lives and resulted in 88 injury crashes, harming 109 of our friends and neighbors,” Brown said.

Police say people caught driving impaired could be punished with jail time, fines, fees, DUI classes and other expenses that can exceed $10,000.

Labor Day weekend is also a maximum-enforcement period for the California Highway Patrol. All available CHP officers will be on duty and on the road from 6 p.m. Friday to midnight Monday.

Noozhawk staff writer Gina Potthoff can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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