Embattled Roseville business owner arrested for alleged DUI, labor code issuesBy: Scott Thomas Anderson, Editor
Len Travis, a Roseville restaurant owner whose conflicts with city hall have made regional news, was arrested late Saturday on suspicion of drunk driving and alleged labor code violations.
Travis denies he was drunk and says the arrest is due to his problems with the city.
Travis is the owner of The Station Bistro & Lounge on Orlando Street. According to the Roseville Police Department, the State of California recently issued a stop order against The Station for not having workers’ compensation insurance on file. Roseville police spokeswoman Dee Dee Gunther said that just before 10 p.m. on Saturday, a Roseville officer stopped at The Station to see if it was complying with the stop order from the state. Travis was allegedly leaving in his vehicle when the officer contacted him.
Gunther said Travis was arrested on suspicion of driving while intoxicated, as well as labor code violations that stem from having the business open that night, despite the stop order against it.
Travis, 66, acknowledges he had several glasses of wine with dinner that night, but is confident a pending blood test will prove he was not driving above the legal limit.
“I have been stopped and given field sobriety tests repeatedly while leaving my business,” Travis said. “Because of that, I would never go over the two to three glasses I have with my dinner. I just know it’s likely that I’ll get pulled over.”
Travis confirmed that on Friday he was visited by state investigators and Roseville police and told there was a stop order against his business due to questions over workers’ compensation insurance. Travis says he thought the issues would be resolved by his insurance representative by Monday, so he decided to keep the business opened over the weekend with temporary employees instead of regular workers.
“We had a lot of parties already booked,” he said. “I thought using the temporary employees took care of the problem for the moment.”
In the summer of 2011, Travis became embroiled in a feud with city leaders over citations being issued against The Station for operating as a dance club.
Roseville officials told The Press Tribune that any dancing at The Station was a code violation, charging the business was running a dance club without a dance permit in a commercial space not zoned as a night club. The city also contends it received numerous complaints about loud noise, disturbances, assaults and public drunkenness. The city has since levied dozens of citations and fines against the Station.
Travis claims his business is not a nightclub, but a restaurant where patrons like to dance. He has also countered accusations of causing a nuisance by saying his club has gone months without incidents. Travis has accused the City of Roseville of “selective enforcement” and trying to push his business into the Old Town district against his will.
“I think there’s no question this arrest happened because of I’ve been challenging the planning director for the City of Roseville,” Travis said.
Gunther firmly denied that the police department engages in arrests on behalf of city officials.
“Our officers arrest people when they have probable cause to make an arrest,” Gunther said. “If someone gets arrested for driving under the influence, then there was legal cause to suspect they were doing that. If the suspect disagrees, that’s what the court process is for.”
Sena Christian contributed to this story.
Scott Thomas Anderson can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at ScottA_RsvPT.