ROOSEVELT, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) -- A misunderstanding resulted in some big fines for a man who drove his niece to her prom on Long Island.
Marvin Sinkler said he was shocked when he dropped his niece and her friends off at the prom for Roosevelt High School on June 18 and was confronted by agents from the Nassau County Taxi and Limousine Commission.
"When I got there, TLC told the kids to get back into the car," Sinkler told 1010 WINS' Mona Rivera.
Man Fights Tickets For Dropping Niece Off At Roosevelt High School Prom
Sinkler, who was driving a Chevy Suburban that was rented for the occasion, was then ticketed for being an unlicensed hired driver. Sinkler's tickets totaled $2,200.
His niece, Samirah Clarke, said she couldn't believe it.
"I'm crying, and now my makeup is messed up, and now I'm walking around in heels," Clarke told CBS2's Jennifer McLogan.
"I understand their purpose for trying to keep the safety of teens or whatever they say their purpose is," she said. "But now you guys are just slapping tickets onto people."
Clarke tried to explain that it was her uncle behind the wheel, but the TLC persisted and began to impound the vehicle.
The promgoers were detained for two hours during the dance.
"They will never get that back," Sinkler said.
Clarke said her uncle was just doing a favor for her and her friends. He offered to drive them as a graduation gift.
Clarke's date, Elishah Willock, was clearly upset about the misunderstanding.
"I felt humiliated, embarrassed," he said.
He said he saw innocent parents being stopped, too, by the TLC.
Nassau TLC Commissioner Gregory May told Rivera ticketing is important during prom season to protect teenagers from unlicensed and unscrupulous limo drivers.
May added that as of Thursday, agents have attended seven proms in Nassau County and issued 43 tickets. He insisted it is a safety issue, not a money-making endeavor.
Clarke, a budding lawyer, convinced her uncle to fight the tickets, and he was vindicated -- the tickets were thrown out.
"They dismissed all three tickets, and I came out happy," Sinkler said. "Twenty-two hundred dollars? Please!"
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