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Alcohol played role in 5 of 13 snowmobile deaths this year in state

As far as we know, it's been nine days since Wisconsin has had a snowmobile death.

That's given safety officials some time to analyze the 13 fatalities so far this winter.

Gary Eddy of the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources says alcohol appeared to be a factor in at least five of the 13 deaths, although final toxicology reports are still pending.

Eleven males and two females have been killed, ranging in age from 16-65.

The fatal crashes have occurred in 10 counties as far north as Douglas County near Superior, and as far south as Dane and Jefferson counties in the Madison area.

Eddy said the record December snows in much of Wisconsin have gotten more riders onto the trails.

The last seven deaths occurred in the first three days of the New Year.

For the season, Wisconsin has four more snowmobile deaths than at this time a year ago.