DENHAM SPRINGS, LA (WAFB) - A man is accused of injuring two people in an alcohol-fueled joyride down Interstate 12 just hours after being arrested in Denham Springs for his 12th DWI.
Jeffrey Blough, 51, currently sits in the East Baton Rouge Parish Prison after being arrested and charged with a DWI last Sunday but records show it wasn't his first time drinking then getting behind the wheel.
"Obviously this gentleman is battling and having some issues," District Attorney Hillar Moore said. "He's apparently from what I read indicated that he had problems and was attempting to deal with those problems."
The most recent incident started with a small crash in a Denham Springs motel parking lot last Saturday. A Denham Springs Police Officer arrested Blough and charged him with DWI first offense.
A low bond allowed Blough to get out of jail and cause another crash just hours later on I-12.
The crash happened near the Millerville exit on I-12, injuring two people but the question remains how was someone who's been arrested for DWI more than ten times able to be behind the wheel.
Blough's criminal history is littered with more than a dozen DWI arrests dating back to 1983. Major Doug Cain with Louisiana State Police said whoever made the arrest in Denham Springs should have noticed it in the state criminal history database called LACCH.
"In 2014 they passed Act 299 which mandates every DWI be fingerprinted out of jail and put in AFIS (Automated Fingerprint Identification System) before that summons is cut so now that we have a good track record of what arrests took place and when."
Cain said with the amount of red flags, someone in the Denham Springs Police Department should have pinned Blough to this lengthy criminal history. He said every one of Blough's arrests are in the system.
"Every agency has access to it and every officer once they go through training and has been approved can access he criminal history database," Cain added.
The Denham Springs Police Department is citing human error as the reason why Blough was able to slip through the cracks.
The agency released a statement which reads: "The department wants to take every measure possible to find out why this happened and then take action to where it never happens again."
Blough's bond is set at $63,500.
No disciplinary action has been taken against any officer at the Denham Springs Police Department.
The chief has been on paid leave for about 6 weeks pending the outcome of an unrelated internal investigation.