The judge has called driving without a valid license the city's No. 1 crime.
YOUNGSTOWN -- A diversion program that will help drivers without a valid license regain their driving privileges kicks off next week in municipal court.
Judge Elizabeth A. Kobly will implement SLIP -- Suspended License Intervention Program -- at 11 a.m. Wednesday in her courtroom.
Municipal court handles a high volume of cases of men and women charged with driving with a suspended license. Judge Kobly has called it the No. 1 crime in the city.
Because of the complexity associated with sifting through the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles' requirements to obtain a valid license, the court found it necessary to implement a program that will reduce recidivism. The goal is to restore licensed drivers to the community.
Those charged with driving under suspension, no operator's license or an expired license will be screened for eligibility by the probation department.
Once defendants are accepted into SLIP, a probation officer will help them regain driving privileges by working with the local BMV to identify the exact violations on their record. The probation officers will then outline the steps needed to satisfy the BMV and guide the defendant through the process of obtaining a valid license.
Completion of the program and obtaining a valid license will result in the charge being dismissed. Individuals who fail to complete SLIP will be scheduled for sentencing, and noncompliance notices will be sent to the BMV.