Friday , December 13 2019
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DWI-Modern Day Salem Witch Hunts

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The “science” in field sobriety tests is laughable.

Here is my article that has been published nationally:

Judge Daryl Coffey of County Criminal Court number 8, in Tarrant County, Texas once remarked to me that all a prosecutor has to do to win a DWI case is just make sure that the three letters “DWI” are mentioned at least 15 times in a trial.1 It is this type of environment that has allowed history to repeat itself. All we have to do is look back to the Salem Witch Hunt trials of 1692 where 19 convicted “witches” lost their lives on “specter” evidence. Evidence in DWI trials has not come a long way from 1692 where claims of apparitions only visible to their victims were enough to get one hung. The greatest challenge to DWI practitioners these days and to those accused of DWI/DUI related crimes is that courtrooms have not kept pace with the science. Bad science is rubber stamped with approval by the majority of the judiciary as long as the government sponsors it. Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus

The horizontal gaze nystagmus test, or HGN, is alleged to be 77% accurate (80% accurate with the W&T) in determining if a person is .10 BAC3 or more.4 The first problem with this test is the particularity. Police officers are not ophthalmologists trained in the detection of eye movements and or eye pathologies. There are forty-seven types of nystagmus in individuals, separate from Horizontal Nystagmus:

Read the rest of this article here

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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