The Biggest Misconception in DWI
The biggest misconception in DWI cases is correlating a single act of bad driving behavior with guilt. Think about the unexpected jerking of the wheel, an accident, a slight swerve or stopping too long at a stop light for example. These may very well be evidence of a driver’s inattention, not intoxication. I have analyzed thousands of DWI cases and tried over 300 during my career. What I find are prosecutors who argue that the inattentive driving behavior is clear evidence of intoxication. This is not fact. The facts are that every day drivers commit these violations due to distraction, inattention, fatigue or a host of other factors. Accidents are so common that the law mandates a driver maintain liability insurance to operate a motor vehicle.
The fact that a driver commits these with alcohol or a substance in his system is not evidence of causation. Driving even a short distance requires full and undivided attention. The fact that we all commit such blunders, as a driving population, does not mean we are all intoxicated. Recent studies have proved that lowering the alcohol level to .05 does not decrease the amount of accidents. What is important to consider in a DWI case is that driving behaviors so often associated with DWI may not in fact be the root cause of such.
We need to clear up DWI Misconception
Judges and jurors (fact finders) must differentiate driving mishaps from life altering DWI convictions. It is more important for the prosecutor, charged with making a recommendation, to not analyze the driving behavior in isolation. Some factors to take into account are time of travel, distance traveled, and factual distractions. These factors help render a proper assessment of whether the infraction is evidence of possible intoxication or something else.
Police asses so many DWI cases under the microscope of a single driving infraction. This is short changing the citizen accused of the real question – intoxication. It is all too easy to label a DWI based on a single driving error. To do so is to avoid a full analysis of the real question at hand. There are many people who commit driving errors all the time. The key is to keep an open mind about the totality of the circumstances. This is a phrase most police officers use when testifying on a DWI case. It is imperative that no one jumps to conclusions when assessing the guilt of a citizen accused of DWI.
More about Mimi Coffey
When people look for a Top DWI Attorney or Best DWI Attorney, they look for experience, certification, and respect in the legal community. 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.
The Coffey Firm handles a wide variety of cases, including Unlawful Carrying Weapon (UCW), Assault (including family violence), Theft and Possession charges. We can also try to help you seal your record or avoid probation revocation.
Mimi is also listed on several “top” directory listings such as DWI Lawyers for Wise County, DWI Lawyer Tarrant County, DWI Lawyer Dallas County, DWI Lawyer Collin County and DWI Lawyer Parker County. Mimi is a caring DWI Lawyer in DFW, She is also involved in the Texas Tech School of Law foundation and enjoys using the skills she has developed to give back to the community.