Mimi Coffey is a nationally-renowned trial attorney, board-certified in DWI by the NCDD, who has been practicing for over 24 years and is an author of multiple DWI Defense textbooks and is a national and state-wide lecturer on the law.
Mimi Coffey has two book publications. Mimi Coffey’s Publications include, a book called “Texas DWI Defense: The Law and Practice“, which is now in its second edition. Mimi’s co-author James Nesci, is a DWI lawyer out of Arizona. Mimi’s Co-Author, James Nesci, has also published over 25 books on top of that. Mimi’s contributions include Texas case law, Texas practice, Texas motions, and trial work application tips. Mimi Coffey wrote the book on DWI Defense. Both books combined serve as a ‘how to guide’ for any lawyer on how to properly execute a successful DWI case. Many of the strategies in the book serve as good examples for BWI, Assault, Possession, and other Criminal Defense Cases. In addition, Mimi Coffey’s Publications include 4 national articles published in The Champion (the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyer magazine). On top of that, she has six statewide publications in The Voice (the Texas Criminal Defense Lawyer magazine). Furthermore, Mimi is board certified in DWI Defense by the National College of DUI Defense (recognized by the American Bar Association as well as the Texas Board of Legal Specialization). She takes great pride in her scholarship and academic work in the field of DWI.
In this article, Mimi writes about the connection between fear and the standard field sobriety tests (SFSTs) that police have a driver perform before being arrested for DWI. She argues that fear reduces a person’s ability to perform the tests because fear can cause a person’s brain to ‘forget’ many key motor skills, such as balance, and to not process information clearly. A common example, not mentioned in the paper, is a fear of public speaking.
This knowledge is important to DWI defense because it provides an opportunity to attack the validity and accuracy of the field sobriety tests. Mimi Coffey and the other DWI lawyers at the Coffey Firm understand the connection between fear and the SFSTs and do what we can to help you through the fear and other emotional aspects of a DWI case.
Like with the article about fear’s effects on the Standard Field Sobriety Tests (SFSTs), this article provides further assistance to DWI Defense by once again attacking the validity and accuracy of the SFSTs, this time based on the natural impairment caused by the aging process. On top of the aging process, Mimi also mentions how a person’s physical condition can impair his ability to perform the SFSTs. For example, an obese person may have more trouble on the One-Leg Stand (OLS) than others of the same age group.
Like with fear, aging can cause trouble with memory, especially short-term memory, which is crucial for following and remembering instructions. She further makes the claim that SFSTs are invalid and that there is no correlation between the motor skills tested by the SFSTs and a person’s ability to drive.
The term ‘witch hunt’ generally refers to an allegation based on fake or exaggerated evidence. The term comes from the Salem Witch Trial (somewhat popularized in Arther Miller’s “The Crucible”) where ‘witches’ were convicted and hung based on allegations that they had sent their ‘specters’ to attack other villagers. The term ‘witch hunt,’ for better or for worse, has regained popularity recently.
In this Article, Mimi once again attacks the validity and credibility of the Standard Field Sobriety Tests (SFSTs). She first explains why the Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus (HGN) test is unreliable. For example, she lists the forty-seven different types of nystagmus before also mentioning the 38 types of HGN that are unrelated to alcohol intake. Mimi also mentions that the only consistently used source for HGN ‘expert’ testimony is an article pointing to a government study and no other studies (whether consistent or inconsistent with the government study).
She next asserts that the one-leg stand (OLS) and walk and turn (W&T) tests do no test impairment related to driving and merely have ‘face validity’ which is the lowest standard of validity used by scientists. In other words, both tests rely too much on subjective evaluation and not on objective measurement criteria.
Mimi concludes by identifying some cases that have questioned the admissibility and validity of the SFSTs. While far from perfect, Mimi believes these cases are a step in the right direction in not allowing the SFSTs to be scientifically valid evidence to be used in court. In legal terms, SFST testimony should not be allowed to be offered as ‘expert’ testimony because, as U.S. v. Horn states, SFSTs are visual clues that a layperson (e.g., a bystander) would use to identify possible intoxication.