Broward driving school charged $400, gave students test answers so they’d pass, state says

Carli Teproff

A Broward driving school can no longer administer driver’s license exams after the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles found it was giving students answers so they’d pass the test.

The department said Monday that an investigation found that Universal Driving School Inc. in Oakland Park charged at least $400 and “ensured” that students would pass the exam. The school had a contract with the state “to conduct knowledge examinations for Class E driver licenses in Florida.”

“It is deeply concerning that this third-party administrator would willfully aid in placing individuals who have not been properly tested on our state roadways,” said Terry L. Rhodes, director of the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles. “The knowledge exam is in place to ensure all drivers possess the skills and proficiency to use the roads safely; any attempt to circumvent it will not be tolerated.”

According to the department, Belizaire Benoit, the school’s president, and Marie Carmene Benoit charged undercover investigators at least $400 for the exam. Investigators were also able to buy the Alcohol Drug Accident Prevention Certificate without taking the four-hour course required to receive the certificate, the department said.

While the school’s agreement has been suspended, the case was still under investigation and the department would not say if any criminal charges are pending against the Benoits.

The phone numbers listed for Universal Driving school appeared to have been disconnected Monday.

Anyone who may have conducted business with Universal Driving School Inc. or any of its associates can email TPA-Assistance@flhsmv.gov.