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Deputy is accused of driving drunk and brandishing a weapon at a Santa Clara fast-food restaurant

Deputy is accused of driving drunk and brandishing a weapon at a Santa Clara fast-food restaurant
Santa Clara County sheriff's Deputy Benjamin Leewas arrested on charges of brandishing a firearm and DUI. (Santa Clara County Sheriff's Department)

A Santa Clara County sheriff's deputy is on administrative leave after allegedly driving drunk and waving a gun at a Jack in the Box.

Benjamin Lee, 33, was arrested around 3:29 a.m. Sunday in the parking lot of the fast-food restaurant in the 900 block of El Camino Real on charges of brandishing a firearm and DUI, Santa Clara police Lt. Kurt Clarke said.

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Lee, who was off duty at the time of the incident, was booked into the main Santa Clara County jail and has since been released, the sheriff's office said in a statement. In addition to the police department's investigation, the sheriff's office is conducting an internal investigation into the incident.

Lee was placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigations, the statement said.

The Deputy Sheriff's Assn. of Santa Clara County said it was "saddened" by the arrest of one of its members.

"Our deputies make arrests for these crimes regularly. They see first-hand the consequences caused by impaired drivers," Roger Winslow, vice president, said in a statement. "DUI by anyone is unacceptable; doubly so when it involves a deputy sheriff."

Winslow also cautioned against a rush to judgment on the arrest.

"We fully expect that appropriate action will be taken after all the facts are determined," Winslow said.

Three Santa Clara County jail deputies were arrested last year on suspicion or murder in the beating death of a mentally ill inmate.

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