Authorities wish they had DWI database when man was arrested twice in one night
BATON ROUGE- Disturbing new details are emerged Monday about a man who was arrested for driving while intoxicated twice in one night.
Jeffrey Blough was under the state Department of Corrections supervision when he caused two crashes in two different parishes last week, the WBRZ Investigative Unit learned. Blough's criminal record indicates he had been arrested at least 12 times since 1983 for DWI.
According to the Department of Corrections, Blough has four convictions:
19th JDC Docket #998127 (offense date 5/17/1998)
7th JDC Docket #943399 (offense date 8/22/1994)
21st JDC Docket #10393 (offense date 3/19/93)
21st JDC Docket #55480 (no offense date listed in the system but it would have been before 1993)
"Because he was on probation and parole and it carried on for years because of a revocation, that's where I believe the breakdown was," District Attorney Hillar Moore said.
Blough was arrested first in Denham Springs after backing into a car, according to the Denham Springs Police Department. It happened in the parking lot of a motel. He was taken into custody, booked with DWI first offense, parked in a handicap spot, and open container. Hours later, Baton Rouge Police reports indicate Blough was extremely intoxicated, and he admitted to "consuming two beers prior to driving" after a crash in the city limits.
The report notes,"the defendant had just bonded out of jail prior to this incident."
The report lists the following dates of Blough's arrest: 5/28/83, 3/25/84, 11/11/84, 5/4/90, 10/3/92, 3/19/93, 8/23/94, 5/17/98, 6/4/98, 10/10/09, 3/19/16 and 3/20/16.
Tracking down all of Blough's DWI convictions statewide was challenging for law enforcement and district attorneys since a DWI database has yet to be established. State law requires the database be available to track an offender's DWI arrest through conviction statewide but it still doesn't exist.
"We've always been trying to get that system in place where anyone in any parish can automatically track DWI [arrests]," Moore said. "Regardless of whether it's a city court or district court, but that hasn't come to fruition yet."
For the past five years, the WBRZ Investigative Unit has reported on the system that is supposed to be in place, but isn't. Those in charge say progress is being made, but it's unclear if a system that was once ambitiously planned to track offenders will ever become a reality.
Blough remains locked up in the East Baton Rouge Parish Prison on a $63,000 bond.