Once someone is arrested they are typically taken to jail so they are not likely to get their keys back before they have a chance to sober up. Otherwise, it could be a problem.
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There are a number of questions related to this. How much time passed, what were the BAC test results, was another person present when the driver was released. If the driver reached home without hurting himself or someone else then whether or not the deputy was "negligent" is not an issue. The deputy's actions may be relevant in defense of any criminal charges.