UNC law students helped New Hanover County citizens expunge their traffic tickets. (Source: WECT)
NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC (WECT) -
While many college kids travel to tropical islands for spring break, a group of law students traveled to Wilmington to help drivers get their licenses back.
A pilot program organized by the NC Justice Center made a stop at the New Hanover County Courthouse Wednesday. The program aims to provide pro bono work to "solve unmet needs" in the legal system.
Daniel Bowes, a staff attorney at the center, said drivers are losing their licenses because they can't pay traffic tickets.
"Sometimes it's hundreds of dollars and they are basically saying 'I would pay for that but I wouldn't be able to afford groceries or rent so they don't pay,'" Bowes said. "In North Carolina, after 100 days, you automatically lose your license."
Bowes said the Wilmington re-entry council referred people in need to the law students. Sixteen drivers were able to get their fees waived Wednesday.
Wilmington is one of three cities testing the program in North Carolina. Bowes said the goal is to create a statewide pro bono program.