How I got into DWI Defense
I have been in love with defending DWI cases since I first started practicing law. When I graduated law school, I had no clue that I would become a board certified lawyer in DWI. As a brand new lawyer I handled court appointed cases. This turned into a job with the biggest criminal defense practice of the metroplex at the time back in 1995, Bailey and Galyen. I was responsible for half the firm’s Tarrant County misdemeanor docket, which was comprised of DWIs.
I knew early on that being a criminal defense lawyer was not enough to win DWI cases. So after reading an article on the problems with the Intoxilyzer 5000 by Dr. James Booker, I reached out to him to teach me. He was a true source of knowledge and inspiration for many years. I became fascinated by the fact that the standardized field sobriety tests police officers use do not legitimate science to back it up. A great scientific peer review study by Dr. Spurgeon Cole outlines these issues as well as the federal determination of the same in the Horn case. Delving into the complexities of infrared spectroscopy in breath testing was fun due to my scientific undergraduate requirements in geology (more hours in my minor Geology than my major).
Being a young lawyer, I wanted to learn from the best so I contacted many of the best DWI trial lawyers at the time and invited them to speak at a Tarrant County Criminal Defense CLE. I had so much fun, that I decided to do it on a large scale by starting my own seminar company, Cowtown CLE. It was so successful that for two years in a row, my one day DWI seminar had the most attendees in Texas for a DWI seminar. I had renown DWI lawyers teach. I was able to educate myself and a lot of lawyers in DWI. Once the Texas Criminal Defense Lawyers Association started throwing the same seminar (in the same location and at the same time), I was happy to forego my seminar to help the state organization.
Since then, I have become published in DWI, both periodicals and a textbook. I have also spoken many times over the years on DWI all across the country. I have also provided national news commentary (on DWI and other criminal issues). Over the last 23 years, I have had over 300 DWI trials and thousands of negotiated DWI pleas. It is a true joy to go to work every day. I am so blessed with each opportunity to help someone accused of DWI.
Mimi Coffey is a nationally-renowned trial attorney, board-certified in DWI by the NCDD. She has been practicing for over 24 years and is an author of multiple DWI Defense textbooks. She is also a national and state-wide lecturer on the law.