Slom allowed a group of drivers ranging in age from 16 to 25 to temporarily slide on the strict obligations of a traffic ticket forgiveness program. The group was scheduled for a four-hour ticket school program at Palmetto High School on Aug. 11, but the doors were locked.
"Nobody from the School Board told us the school was closed that day," said Jack Benveniste, president of the Traffic Offenders Awareness Driver program, which involves graphic depictions of accident footage. "We had an instructor and almost 50 students show up to find the school was closed."
The ticketed drivers had a 120-day window to complete a class before their licenses were suspended, and some were edging close to the deadline. Slom, administrative judge of the county criminal division, signed an order giving them an extra 30 days after learning about the mix-up.
"It was not due to the student’s failure. It was due to the school’s failure. The physical facility was unavailable, and a number of people would have had their licenses suspended," the judge said.
The school board also apologized.
"It had nothing to do with the students’ desire to meet the obligation. It seemed like the only reasonable thing to do," Slom said.