Villager charged with golf cart DUI after Christmas parade engages top expert witness

Karen Frances Hacket

A villager charged in a golf cart accident after the Christmas parade has hired a top expert witness known to have examined breathalyzers in drunk driving cases.

Karen Frances Hackett, 63, of the Village of Liberty Park is facing charges of driving under the influence and disorderly conduct after her Dec. 11 arrest by Sumter County Sheriff’s Deputies.

The former Rock Island, Ill., resident started drinking the morning of the Christmas parade at the Villages Polo Fields, according to an arrest report. At 7:30 p.m., disturbed diners at TooJay’s Gourmet Deli and Sonny’s BBQ watched Hackett’s golf cart hit a sidewalk at Lake Sumter Landing. The impact knocked Hackett and a female passenger from the golf cart. The passenger suffered from scratches on his knees and was vomiting. She was transported by ambulance to a local hospital. EMS staff attempted to assess Hackett’s condition, but she began screaming and swearing, including profanity aimed at President Joe Biden.

Hackett’s attorney said in a court filing that his client’s defense will include the services of an expert witness, Laura Barfield.

For 18 years, Barfield ran the Florida Department of Law Enforcement’s alcohol screening program. She has since founded a consulting company, Forensic Toxicology Consulting Services in Tallahassee. She “has testified as an expert witness and rendered opinions in Florida circuit and county courts and federal courts, on 675 times,” according to his professional biography.

hacker provided breath samples showing blood alcohol levels of 0.249 and 0.246.