SUMMERVILLE -- The Dorchester County Sheriff's Office has suspended a newly hired deputy who allegedly drove a patrol car to a bar where he drank while off-duty.

Maj. John Garrison said the deputy was reported to be drinking at a Summerville bar over the weekend. Driving a patrol car to a bar is a violation of department policy.

The deputy's gun, badge and other equipment have been confiscated while the department's internal affairs division investigates the allegations, he said. The deputy has been placed on administrative leave with pay.

Asked for the deputy's name, Garrison said the department wouldn't release it because the investigation is still active and that the deputy hadn't yet been formally accused.

"If it turns out the allegation is true, he will be terminated," Garrison said.

Jay Bender, attorney for the S.C. Press Association, said the name of the suspended deputy is public record.

The deputy had just graduated the S.C. Criminal Justice Academy less than a week before the alleged incident and had yet to begin field training with the department, Garrison said. He said the deputy was off-duty at the time and was not in uniform.