Reporting Marcia Kramer
NEW YORK (CBS 2) — CBS 2 News has gotten action for a woman who lost her license for drunk driving even though she never had a drink.
It’s a bureaucratic nightmare on Long Island, but political reporter Marcia Kramer cut to the chase at the Department of Motor Vehicles.
Mother of two Michelle Nunez-Alman got the shock of her life when she went to her mailbox several weeks ago and found a letter from the DMV.
“It’s a letter stating that my driver’s license is suspended and that I have been convicted of alcohol or drug-related offense,” Nunez-Alman told Kramer exclusively. “I’ve never been arrested. I don’t ever want to be arrested. I’ve never been convicted of anything in my life.”
Despite repeated visits to the DMV, the agency was monumentally uninterested in Michelle’s case, even after she did research and showed them the charges were really brought against a driver named Michael Nunez.
“He’s not even the same sex as me,” Nunez-Alman said.
Michelle even went to Queens Criminal Court, where Michael Nunez was convicted and got a letter telling the DMV it had suspended the wrong license, but still the agency did nothing.
Look what happened when Michelle took that letter to the DMV:
“I waited in line for 55 minutes to get the ticket to see the woman from the law enforcement department and I get up there and it’s a joke. ‘Oh this is some mess you have on your hands.’ It’s a joke,” Nunez-Alman said.
She had several more encounters with the DMV. She was even hung up on by the Albany office after it failed to correct the situation and since she desperately needed the car to pick up her kids from school and she was tired of being the DMV’s bureaucratic ping pong ball, she called a lawyer.
“The state is entitled to make a mistake, but it’s absolutely unconscionable that they take it so lightly and they take a woman who has a requirement that she must drive, she must be out, she has family obligations and they just forget about it. It’s your fault. You have to wait. They can’t do that,” attorney Kenneth Mollins said.
But even though she knew she was not at fault she was terrified to use her car until the matter was cleared up. She said she knew if she drove and got pulled over for whatever reason, “I’m getting arrested.”
The story does have a happy ending. Kramer called Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s Office and he made the DMV fix the problem. As of Tuesday afternoon, Michelle’s license was restored and she is getting a letter in the mail stating that it was suspended in error.
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