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Ex-Roanoke police officer sentenced for DUI crash that injured brother

A former Roanoke police officer was sentenced Tuesday in Roanoke Circuit Court for a drunk driving accident that injured his brother.

Samuel Wyatt Shaffer, 27, of Roanoke, was driving a small Chevrolet pick-up truck on the night of October, 9 2021 when it crashed near Riverdale Road in Southeast.

Court documents said a breath test given to him registered a blood alcohol level of 0.16%. That is twice the legal limit.

Shaffer’s brother was in the vehicle and was injured, Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney John McNeil said Tuesday.

Shaffer was arrested and charged with misdemeanor driving under the influence, his first offense. Later, he was charged with driving under the influence that resulted in maiming, a felony.

McNeil said Shaffer’s brother was “adamant” about Shaffer not serving any time in jail. On Tuesday, Shaffer entered a no contest plea on the felony charge and the misdemeanor charge was dismissed.

Shaffer was sentenced to four years in a penitentiary, but all four years were suspended by the court. His driver’s license was suspended for three years, and he’ll have to pay $500 in fines.

Shaffer will also have to complete the Virginia Alcohol Safety Action Program (VASAP).

He had been working as an officer for the city since May 2019. McNeil confirmed Tuesday that Shaffer is no longer employed by the Roanoke Police Department.

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Emma Coleman covers public safety and courts in the Roanoke Valley. She can be reached at (540) 981-3198 or emma.coleman@roanoke.com.

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