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Following mistaken release, man's DWI charge upgraded

6 months 2 weeks 3 days ago May 19, 2016 May 19, 2016 Thursday, May 19 2016 May 19, 2016 10:31 AM in News
Source: WBRZ

DENHAM SPRINGS – Two months after being arrested twice in the same night on DWI charges, the district attorney here upgraded the charges against Jeffery Blough.

The original DWI charge Blough was first arrested for on the night of March 19 was changed to a 4th offense DWI, court records obtained by the WBRZ Investigative Unit show. The district attorney for Livingston Parish increased the charge this week.

Blough was arrested after an altercation at a hotel in Denham Springs. It was his eleventh arrest for DWI since the 1980s but the arresting officer did not realize Blough's previous arrests and charged him with first offense. Blough was able to bond out and, later, police in Baton Rouge said, he caused another wreck under the influence where people were hurt. Following the wreck on I-12 hours after the arrest on March 19th, Blough was charged with DWI again; his 12th arrest. The Denham Springs Police department changed policies after a series of reports on the situation.

Following the snafu related to Blough's arrest record and charges, officials said it was more reason why there needs to be a state DWI database. Tracking down all of Blough's DWI convictions statewide was challenging for law enforcement since one 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]," Baton Rouge DA Hillar Moore said in a WBRZ report following the original arrest. "Regardless of whether it's a city court or district court, but that hasn't come to fruition yet."

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