Police dept. plans to retrain officers after error allows man with several DWI arrests to be released on low bond

Police dept. plans to retrain officers after error allows man with several DWI arrests to be released on low bond

DENHAM SPRINGS, LA (WAFB) - Police officials said they are reviewing "appropriate disciplinary measures" and officers will be retrained after an error resulted in a man with several DWI arrests being charged with first offense DWI just hours before he is accused of injuring two people in a crash.

The Denham Springs Police Department reported Jeffrey Blough, 51, was arrested on March 19 and a review of his criminal history report showed multiple previous DWI arrests.

"Prior DWI convictions are eligible to be progressively charged for a period of ten years," the department stated in a written release. "An error in calculating the eligible charges resulted in the arresting officer incorrectly charging Blough for First Offense DWI."

Police are still looking into the incident. Officials added the arresting officer and his immediate supervisor took responsibility for the error.

According to officials, in an effort to prevent such mistakes in the future, the department is teaming with the 21st JDC District Attorney's Office to have every Denham Springs police officer retrained on properly reviewing criminal history reports.

Officials also said there has been no evidence to indicate the officer intentionally booked Blough on the wrong charge.

Blough was booked into the East Baton Rouge Parish Prison on charges of DWI (third offense), reckless operation of a vehicle and two counts of negligent vehicular injuring on March 22. He remains behind bars on a $63,500 bond.

Reports show Blough was involved in a small crash in a Denham Springs motel parking lot last Saturday, which resulted in him getting booked on the first offense DWI, although it was actually his 12th DWI arrest. A low bond allowed him to get out of jail and allegedly cause another crash just hours later on I-12.

The second crash happened on I-12 near the Millerville exit. It resulted in two people being taken to the hospital, one with serious injuries.

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