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Alcohol-related deaths up

BIRMINGHAM (AP) — Alabama deaths in alcohol-related crashes have climbed 16 percent this year over the same period in 2004.

State troopers had investigated 122 fatal wrecks involving alcohol as of July 31, up from 105 over the same period last year.

The number of overall fatalities in wrecks investigated by state troopers through July 31, however, had decreased 2 percent from 450 in 2004 to 442.

State troopers set up checkpoints around the state over the Labor Day weekend looking for drunken drivers, said Col. Mike Coppage, director of the Department of Public Safety.

Bradford Health Services regional director Michele Alley said cutting down on alcohol-related crashes requires stiffer penalties.

Copyright 2005 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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