Appeal from a judgment of the Criminal Court of the City of New York, Kings County (William L. McGuire, Jr., J.), rendered October 16, 2008.
Decided on March 16, 2011
Appellate Term, Second Department
Published by New York State Law Reporting Bureau pursuant to Judiciary Law § 431.
This opinion is uncorrected and will not be published in the printed Official Reports.
PRESENT: PESCE, P.J., GOLIA and STEINHARDT, JJ
The judgment convicted defendant, upon a jury verdict, of driving while ability impaired.
ORDERED that the judgment of conviction is affirmed.
Following a jury trial, defendant was convicted of driving while ability impaired (Vehicle and Traffic Law § 1192 ). Defendant's challenge to the legal sufficiency of the evidence is unpreserved for appellate review (see CPL 470.05 ; People v Hawkins, 11 NY3d 484, 491-492 ; People v Hines, 97 NY2d 56, 61 ; People v Gray, 86 NY2d 10 ). A motion for a trial order of dismissal "must be specifically directed' at the error being urged" (People v Hawkins, 11 NY3d at 492 [citation omitted]), and a defendant may not raise for the first time on appeal arguments about the legal sufficiency of the evidence which he did not raise at trial (see People v Bynum, 70 NY2d 858 ; People v Udzinski, 146 AD2d 245, 250 ). In any event, defendant's contention has no merit.
Pursuant to Vehicle and Traffic Law § 1192 (1), a defendant is guilty of driving while ability impaired if the evidence adduced at trial shows that "by voluntarily consuming alcohol . . . defendant has actually impaired, to any extent, the physical and mental abilities which he is expected to possess in order to operate a vehicle as a reasonable and prudent driver" (People v Cruz, 48 NY2d 419, 427 ; see also People v Litto, 8 NY3d 692, 706 ; People v McNamara, 269 AD2d 544, 545 ). Compared to proof of intoxication, the quantum of proof necessary to support a conviction of driving while impaired is "far less rigorous" (People v Reding, 167 AD2d 716, 717 ). At trial, a police officer testified that when she arrived on the scene of a two car accident, defendant admitted that he was the driver of one of the vehicles involved in the accident and that he had been drinking; that defendant had watery, bloodshot eyes; that an odor of alcohol emanated from defendant's breath; that defendant's demeanor was unsteady, and he swayed a bit; that defendant's speech was slurred; and that, in her opinion, defendant was intoxicated. The foregoing evidence, viewed in the light most favorable to the People (see People v Contes, 60 NY2d 620 ), was legally sufficient to establish defendant's guilt of driving while ability impaired (Vehicle and Traffic Law § 1192 ) beyond a reasonable doubt.
In fulfilling our responsibility to conduct an independent review of the weight of the evidence (see CPL 470.15 ; People v Danielson, 9 NY3d 342 ), we nevertheless accord great deference to the factfinder's opportunity to view the witnesses, hear their testimony, observe their demeanor, and assess their credibility (see People v Mateo, 2 NY3d 383 ; People v Bleakley, 69 NY2d 490 ). Upon a review of the record, we are satisfied that the verdict was not against the weight of the evidence (see People v Romero, 7 NY3d 633 ).
Accordingly, the judgment of conviction is affirmed.
Pesce, P.J., Golia and Steinhardt, ...