On November 3, 2012, at 12:31 a.m., a State Trooper observed a motorist driving erratically on Louisiana Highway 385 south of McNeese Street in Lake Charles. The driver, 43-year-old Jeffery Benoit of Sulphur, was stopped. Troopers determined Beniot was impaired and brought him to Louisiana State Police Troop D for a breath test.
Once at Troop D, Beniot refused to submit a breath sample. A "no refusal" search warrant was obtained and Benoit was transported to an area hospital where blood was drawn. The sample will be submitted to the Louisiana State Police Crime Lab for analysis.
Benoit was arrested for fourth offense DWI, failure to use a turn signal, and failure to wear a seat belt. He was booked into the Calcasieu Parish Correctional Center. Benoit, who is on parole for a previous DWI offense, had his bond set at $151,500.
The Louisiana State Police has a process in place, in cooperation with district attorneys and judges in many parts of our state, to request a search warrant in conjunction with a DWI arrest. The circumstances of the arrest may be sent to a judge on duty who reviews the information. If he or she determines probable cause exists, a "no refusal" warrant is issued by the judge. The arrested subject is then transported to a medical facility where a toxicology sample is obtained.
Last year, 43 percent of fatal crashes in our state were caused by impaired drivers. To report impaired drivers, motorists are encouraged to dial *LSP (*577) from their cellular phone or to contact their local law enforcement agency. Drive sober or get pulled over.