Mount Pleasant -- A town police officer has been disciplined for using his patrol cruiser while off duty to give a drunken family member a ride home from a North Charleston bar.
Officer Paul Russell received an undisclosed reprimand following an internal affairs investigation by the department, Capt. Stan Gragg said Monday.
Gragg said the officer was at home Friday night when a family member called asking him to drive her home because she was drunk at the Market Street Saloon on Northwoods Boulevard. The officer's personal vehicle was being used by someone else at the time, so he used the patrol car, Gragg said.
Russell's blood-alcohol content was zero when he was tested that same night as part of the internal investigation. He was not in uniform at the time, Gragg said.
"Although this was a noble decision to pick up family members too intoxicated to drive, they should have sought another means of transportation," Chief Harry Sewell said.
Gragg and Sewell declined to say what type of reprimand Russell received, other than saying he is still employed with the department.
Gragg said investigators looked into allegations that the officer threatened to wait for and arrest for a DUI another patron who was taking pictures of the officer at the bar.
"We found no evidence to support those allegations," he said.
Russell was hired by the department in November 2009.