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The Charles County Sheriff’s Office is urging residents planning to party on St. Patrick’s Day to designate a sober driver.

Officers will conduct saturation patrols looking for impaired drivers Sunday, March 17.

According to a press release from the sheriff’s office, St. Patrick’s Day has become a popular time to celebrate.

Sheriff Rex W. Coffey said in a news release that due to the large number of drunk drivers, St. Patrick’s Day has become dangerous on the roadways.

“We ask that if you’re planning to go out, simply designate a sober driver,” Coffey wrote.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, statistics show that 9,878 people were killed in 2011 in alcohol-impaired-driving crashes.

The sheriff’s office recommends motorists take the following steps:

•Plan a safe way home before the festivities begin.

•Before drinking, designate a sober driver and leave your car keys at home.

•If you’re impaired, use a taxi, or call a sober friend or family member.

•If you happen to see a drunk driver on the road, call the police.

•If you know someone who is about to drive or ride while impaired, take their keys and help them make other arrangements to get to where they are going safely.