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The Science of Fear & Field Sobriety Tests

field sobriety tests
Read the Article here!

The Science of Fear & field sobriety tests:

Fear is not just mental. It is physical. It is involuntary. It causes one to lose normal mental and physical faculties. The field sobriety tests were developed in  a vacuum. The greatest travesty NHTSA perpetuates on our citizenry is the application of these nonscientific tests without any proper scientific consideration to fear. Here is the article I wrote, very relevant for anyone arrested for DWI/DUI. (link above, on tcdla’s archived website of Voice articles )

The definition of intoxication for DWI purposes in most states centers around a theme of “loss of normal use of mental and or physical faculties” due to alcohol and or a drug(s). It is common sense that fear causes a “loss of normal mental and or physical faculties.” It is a fact that everyone in a DWI investigation experiences fear. Fear is a natural response when one is threatened with jail in a DWI situation. It is a travesty to those accused of DWI to be misjudged on “loss of normal use of mental and physical faculties” due to fear, this leads to false DWI convictions. The National Highway Safety Administration in its grants towards developing the DWI field sobriety tests failed to factor in many real life scenarios including fear into their research which are highly applicable and relevant in assessing intoxication. I wrote this paper after much research in an aim to help not only my clients, other top DWI lawyers, and all defense lawyers but to educate judges, jurors and DAs so that justice can be done. Information is power and this information should be considered in any DWI investigation.

About Mimi Coffey

Mimi Coffey
Mimi Coffey is a trial attorney with 17 years experience. She is the founder of The Coffey Firm, serving Dallas, Tarrant and Collin counties. She is board-certified in DWI by the National College of DUI Defense (NCDD) and is a Regent of the NCDD. She has also appeared numerous times as a legal commentator for CNN, National Fox News, as well as local Dallas/Fort Worth stations on DWI-related stories. She is also a frequent speaker at both national and statewide seminars. She is a prolific trial attorney with a proven trial record. She has tried over 300 cases, with 80% of them being jury trials in her 18-year career. Her success includes everything from .21 breath tests, blood tests to 3 car accident cases just to name a few. Mimi’s cases have also made good case law for the State of Texas. For example, in Tarvin v. State, it was found that weaving within your own lane was not a traffic violation. In Lajoie v. State, the courts determined that the defendant’s request to have his attorney must be suppressed as opposed to used as evidence of guilt. She is the author of Texas DWI Defense: The Law and Practice. She is also the author of three nationally-published articles and four statewide articles. Mimi has twice attended Indiana University’s Borkenstein Course for state toxicologists both on alcohol and drugs. She has also completed the NHTSA SFST Course, SFST Instructor Course and the 12-Step DRE Mini-Course Program. She is also one of the first attorneys in the United States to attend the Axion Labs Gas Chromatography Training. Her minor in college was Geology lending her a comprehensive and disciplined scientific mind when it comes to scientific and mathematical issues such as blood and breath testing. Mimi has won the President’s Heart of a Champion Award presented by the Texas Criminal Defense Lawyers Association (TCDLA) numerous times. Mimi also led the effort to get the State Bar of Texas’ Board of Legal Specialization to recognize the NCDD’s DWI Certification. Mimi has been active in 4 legislative sessions in fighting against bad DWI laws. Her efforts prevented the breath/blood test refusal as being a separate crime. She has advocated for true deferred adjudication for DWI. Mimi also sued a Dalworthington Gardens police officer for illegally drawing blood. Since her lawsuit, the 2nd Court of Appeals ruled against police officers drawing blood. (The Court of Criminal Appeals overturned this). Mimi also sued the Texas Department of Public Safety for its double jeopardy surcharge program. Since the initiation of her suit, Texas DPS has instituted amnesty programs based on one’s earning potential.

If you would like to contact the author, please visit: http://www.mimicoffey.com


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