'Human error' allowed 12th offense DWI suspect to be released on low bond

'Human error' allowed 12th offense DWI suspect to be released on low bond

DENHAM SPRINGS, LA (WAFB) - A couple hours after being released from jail for a DWI a man was arrested for again after he allegedly caused a serious crash on the Interstate. The department that made the first arrest is now reviewing the incident because a "human error" could have possibly prevented the second crash.

"The department wants to take every measure possible to find out why this happened and then take action to where it never happens again," said Glenn Lemoine, spokesman for the Denham Springs Police Department.

It all started on March 19 when police were called to a small crash in a parking lot.

"When they got there they learned that [the suspect, Jeffery Blough,] was trying to back into a parking spot when he hit a vehicle that was unoccupied," Lemoine explained. "They arrested him because they believed he was impaired."

Blough was given a breathalizer test, which police say he failed, and was then charged with DWI (first offense). Problem is, that arrest was actually his twelfth.

"When they printed out his history, they saw that he had prior arrests," Lemoine acknowledged. "But for some reason he was charged with first offense. They made a mistake."

That mistake ended up allowing Blough to post bond for a first offense charge, which is considerably less than the felony charge for which it should have been.

In the probable cause report for the second crash, which was submitted by the Baton Rouge Police Department, it notes that Blough has DWI arrests going back as far as 1983.

"Apparently [Blough] has just bonded out of jail prior to this incident," the report reads.

The second crash happened on I-12 near the Millerville exit. The report claims that shortly after midnight, Blough was driving recklessly and lost control of his vehicle.

"This crash caused the victim's vehicle to flip up-side down," the officer noted. "Two victims in this crash incident were both injured and transported to the hospital. One of the victims had serious bodily injuries to the facial area, multiple lacerations and possible broken bones."

A blood sample was taken and is being processed by the State Police Crime Lab. For now, Blough is being held in the East Baton Rouge Parish Prison in lieu of a $63,500 bond.

Officials with the Department of Corrections confirm that Blough is currently on probation for a prior DWI conviction.

The Denham Springs Police Department has been operating without a police chief for the last six weeks due the paid administrative leave of Chief Scott Jones.

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