Vehicle and Traffic Law 1192-1

Further, Vehicle and Traffic Law 1192 (1) authorizes a conviction upon proof that a defendant, "by voluntarily consuming alcohol, . . . 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, 399 N.E.2d 513, 423 N.Y.S.2d 625 [1979]; See also 24 People v. McNamara, 269 AD2d 544, 545, 704 N.Y.S.2d 100 [2000]; People v. Wirtz, 128 AD2d 745, 746, 513 N.Y.S.2d 239 [1987]; People v. Peck, 16 Misc 3d 126[A], 841 N.Y.S.2d 827, 2007 NY Slip Op 51213[U] [App Term, 9th & 10th Jud Dists 2007]). Compared to proof of intoxication, the quantum of proof necessary to support a conviction of driving while impaired, and, by implication, the proof required for an arrest therefor, is also "far less rigorous" (People v. Reding, 167 AD2d 716, 717, 564 N.Y.S.2d 489 [1990]). In People v. Farrell, 89 AD2d 987, 454 N.Y.S.2d 306 (2nd Dept., 1982), the Appellate Division, Second Department articulated the reasonable cause standard as it applies to drinking and driving offenses. The inquiry is: Whether, viewing the facts and circumstances as they appeared at the time of arrest, a reasonable person in the position of the officer could have concluded that the motorist had operated the vehicle while under the influence of intoxicating liquor. 89 AD2d at 988 (2nd Dept., 1982) In People v. Asher, 16 Misc 3d 89, 842 N.Y.S.2d 168, (App. Term, 9th & 10th Jud. Dists., 2007), the Court held that probable cause was established to uphold an arrest for Driving While Intoxicated based on credible testimony that the defendant displayed signs of intoxication, failed field sobriety tests and admitted to having had two glasses of wine. In People v. Gingras, 22 Misc 3d. 22, 871 N.Y.S.2d 812 (App. Term, 2nd Dept., 2008), the defendant was arrested for Driving While Intoxicated. The Justice Court granted suppression of evidence and the People appealed. In reversing and denying defendant's motion to suppress evidence, the Appellate Term stated: " .we find that the People established probable cause for defendant's arrest, at the very least for driving while impaired in violation of Vehicle and Traffic Law 1192 (1), although defendant was not specifically so charged. "The legality of an arrest . . . is not conditioned upon whether the arresting officer specified the correct subdivision of Vehicle and Traffic Law 1192, or upon his belief as to which subdivision had been violated. All that is required is that [the officer] have had reasonable cause to believe that defendant had violated Vehicle and Traffic Law 1192" (People v. Hilker, 133 AD2d 986, 987-988, 521 N.Y.S.2d 136 [1987]; see also People v. Nesbitt, 1 AD3d 889, 890, 767 N.Y.S.2d 187 [2003])