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Former Winston-Salem police officer convicted of driving while impaired

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Winston-Salem Police Department patch on uniform. (WGHP file photo)

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. – A former Winston-Salem police officer has been convicted of driving while impaired.

The Winston-Salem Journal reported that Austin Benjamin Willard, 24, of Germanton, was given a suspended sentence of 30 days in jail and placed on unsupervised probation for 12 months.

He pleaded guilty to DWI in Forsyth Superior Court on Nov. 5, according to the Journal.

Willard was arrested on July 14 after being pulled over in his pickup truck shortly before 3 a.m. on US 421 North near Silas Creek Parkway. He was off-duty at the time.

Willard was charged with failing to maintain lane control and placed on administrative leave from the department.

Police said Willard had a blood-alcohol level of .12 percent, a bit higher than the legal driving limit of .08.

Willard had bloodshot, glassy eyes and slurred speech, according to an affidavit written by the officer who stopped him.

He resigned in September and had been with the department since July 2016.

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