More Drivers Test Positive for Drugs than Alcohol over Christmas Period

The Christmas drink and drug drive campaign in North Wales heralds a 50% increase in drug drivers compared to 2017.

The campaign, which ran from December 1st 2018 until January 1st 2019, saw 368 drink drive and 179 drug drive arrests being made across the four police forces in Wales.

In North Wales more people tested positive for drugs than alcohol. Officers made 84 drug drive arrests, a 50% increase on the same period in 2017, and 83 drink drive arrests during the same period.

Graph_Drink_Drug_Drive Christmas 2018

Superintendent Jane Banham of the North Wales Police Roads Policing Unit said: “More than 500 drivers had a Christmas and New Year to remember for all the wrong reasons – after being arrested by police across Wales for drink and drug driving. 

If you are found guilty of drink or drug driving you face a minimum 12-month ban, a criminal record, a fine or up to 6 months in prison.

Drug Drive Limits_Gov.UK
http://www.gov.uk

If you have been charged with a motoring offence, we can save your driving licence and keep you on the road. Call our 24/7 motoring law helpline on 0330 33 22 770 for free initial legal advice, or visit our website at https://ashworthmotoringlaw.co.uk/

Article written by Stuart Taylor – Director at Ashworth Motoring Law, specialist motoring lawyers.

Not Guilty! Another driver acquitted of drug driving!

We are thrilled to release our latest client testimonial from a driver who was acquitted of drug driving earlier this month.

Drug Driving – Not Guilty/Acquitted

Quote

“Back in May I was arrested for supposedly drug driving. I knew straight away that this needed defending and a search for solicitors began. I came across Alison and her success rate was second to none, it would have been stupid not to instruct her as my solicitor. That first phone call was so daunting but straight away she put me at ease and when I told her the circumstances around my arrest, she was 100% in my corner and suggested that a number of errors and mistakes would have been made to do with my arrest alone. Moving on a few months and a couple of court dates (unfortunately the incompetence of the CPS meant that the courts honoured a couple of adjournments) we finally got the result that we were waiting for. The representation that Alison provides in court is only the best. From the barrister to the support from AML employees, you really do feel looked after. It’s that personable touch that got me through this ordeal, knowing that you were believed in right the way through when at times it felt like it would be easier throwing the towel in. Alison and her team were always confident that the case was a strong one, even when I began doubting it myself. They really do lift you up and take you through the process side by side. I was acquitted of all charges and found not guilty and it’s all because Alison is such a great solicitor. Her knowledge in this field really is second to none, I would have no issues in recommending Alison to anyone who may need her help. Straight away you will feel like a weight has been lifted. That’s what she did for me, took that burden off me and told me it’ll be alright. And it is… I will forever be thankful to Alison and her team, they have no idea”

When asked what they liked most about our services, our client wrote:

“Both Alison & Colette are so personable, friendly and approachable it’s hard not to completely trust them. They work so hard and are so knowledgeable in their field, you really do get the great result that you hope for. No question is a silly one and no panicked email or phone call is an inconvenience. There is no judgement and you instantly feel reassured.”

Anonymous motorist who was acquitted of drug driving from Chester

bring-insurance-cost-down-ashworth-motoring-law

If you have been accused of committing a motoring offence such as drug driving and would like to discuss your case in confidence with a specialist motoring law solicitor call 0330 33 22 770 or email admin@ashworthmotoringlaw.co.uk. Our expert solicitors will listen to the details of your case and let you know instantly if your licence could be saved.

Another client found NOT GUILTY of Drug Driving

We are delighted to share this latest testimonial of a client who was recently acquitted of drug driving:

thumbs up ashworth motoring law

Drug Driving; Not Guilty!

“Before I called Ashworth Motoring Law, I was going to plead guilty as I believed I was bang to rights, but after my first call to AML I believed I had a good chance of getting off, or maybe a 50/50 chance.  As time went on, and on hearing the lady who tested my blood was not a pro, the more it was delayed, the more faith I had. My friends did not believe and were very surprised with the outcome.”

Mr Aston Johnson

Aston Johnson

Mr Johnson was found not guilty of drug driving after his case was heard at Wimbledon Magistrates’ Court.

If you’ve been accused of drug driving, or indeed any motoring offence and would like Ashworth Motoring Law to represent your case, please call 0330 33 22 770 or email admin@ashworthmotoringlaw.co.uk to speak directly to one of our expert motoring law solicitors today.

 

Latest testimonial from client accused of drug driving

We are delighted to publish our latest testimonial from one of our clients who was accused of drug driving:

“I am a mechanic and unknowingly after smoking cannabis was stopped 15hrs later by police and was blood tested and my THC levels were double the limit, and was charged with driving under the influence of drugs. I was devastated and needed help, I did a search and Ashworth motoring law came up. I emailed them and they got back to me right away. They took on my case and dealt with it very professionally and made this upsetting time so much better. They took all the relief and explained everything in detail and would 100% recommend them

“Mr B”

thumbs up ashworth motoring law

When asked what he liked best about our services, he answered;

“Very approachable, replying to emails or phone very quickly, always reassuring and making sure everything was understood”

If you’ve been accused of a driving offence such as drug driving and would like Ashworth Motoring Law to represent your case, please call 0330 33 22 770 or email admin@ashworthmotoringlaw.co.uk to speak directly to one of our expert motoring law solicitors today.

We look forward to hearing from you.

Watch Ashworth Motoring Law’s Alison Ashworth on BBC Inside Out

Our Managing Director and Expert Drug Driving Lawyer, Alison Ashworth featured on last night’s Inside Out Programme discussing the very low limits that were set by the 2015 Drug Driving (Specified Limit) Offence.

Click the following link to view the programme

http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b07xrwlb/inside-out-south-east-03102016

Alison is featured in a number of clips from 22.40 onwards and stresses the small amounts of drugs in a person’s system that can be used to charge a driver with an offence. She also highlights a fundamental flaw in the legislation; namely the Prosecution’s inability to rely on a urine sample to secure a conviction.

alison-ashworth-bbc-inside-out-interview-on-drug-driving-defences

Why we do what we do:

At Ashworth motoring law we are dedicated to keeping drivers on the road. We believe that no driver’s licence should be placed in jeopardy due to a lack of legal or technical knowledge. That’s why we’re always striving to deliver relevant, current content to keep you up to date with issues that could affect your freedom to drive.

We know the devastating impact that a disqualification from driving could have on a person’s life, career and family. It’s from that understanding that we fight to save the driving licences of motorists throughout the Country, to ensure that no person is disqualified where a valid defence or judicial discretion is available.

If you have been accused of committing a drug driving offence and would like to discuss your case in confidence with a specialist drug driving solicitor call 0330 33 22 770 or email enquiries@ashworthmotoringlaw.co.uk. Our expert solicitors will listen to the details of your case and let you know instantly if your licence could be saved.

 

Another of our clients found Not Guilty of Drink Driving; Testimonial

Making our clients happy, fighting against injustice and getting the right result in every case is what gets us out of bed in the morning and keeps us working late at night.

It’s why we do what we do.  We are always delighted when we receive testimonials from satisfied clients for whom we have secured a phenomenal result.

Here is our latest testimonial from a very happy client of ours who has been found Not Guilty of Drink Driving:

Ashworth Motoring Law Happy Client Testimonial

“I am writing this review in relation to my experience with Ashworth Motoring Law. Being in a position where your faced with losing your license or even prison is not a nice place to be. I did an extensive amount of research and contacted numerous solicitors for free phone consultations and just didn’t find the comfort or reassurance i needed to decide whether to part with my hard earned money or stay with a legal aid firm. It was a big decision that could affect my career and day to day life for the next few years to come. I finally got around to speaking to Alison and something just felt different about how she came across and it was pleasantly reassuring. I made the choice to go with Alison and she accepted my case. I had been charged with a drink drive offence and also an allegation of failing to stop for the police. The police and prosecution are there to just get targets and numbers up on convictions, no matter if they think you are guilty or not. That is one thing i have learnt in this. Without Alison i would not have stood a chance in hell and the police kept trying to add new things in to worsen things for me, but Alison pursued and fought and worked twice as hard as them to get the result I needed. Im normally quite smart with most things, but Alison can find a diamond in the rough instantly in every instance.  

From the beginning Alison and Colette advised and helped me and kept me more then up to date with everything that she was doing in relation to my case. They put my mind at ease all the way through. They made me feel like it was my good friends on my side helping me in a situation where someone else is trying to ruin my life. Alison was amazing and got me one of the best barristers around. We went to court and successfully walked out with not guilty verdicts to both charges. I couldn’t have been more happy and am able to continue my life normally now. I really am glad i followed my instinct and went with Ashworth Motoring Law.  

If you find yourself in any similar driving position and are a little sceptical about using a private solicitor as opposed to legal aid then I am more than happy to speak to you about my case as an independent person and I’m happy to answer any questions you have. I feel i owe Alison the respect to do that after how much she did to help me and successfully at that. I have unfortunately experienced the services of a legal aid solicitor in the past and to be honest there is no comparison and they of course left me high and dry and with an unsuccessful case i received a conviction. This is what made me more used towards paying for legal representation. They are just lazy number crunchers who want a big turn around of clients whether they help them or not. Ashworth Motoring definitely provide the whole package and more.  

If you do wish to contact me please do not hesitate to ask Alison or Colette for my details. Once again thank you to all at Ashworths.”

Mr B, Birmingham.

Why we do what we do:

At Ashworth motoring law we are dedicated to keeping drivers on the road. We believe that no driver’s licence should be placed in jeopardy due to a lack of legal or technical knowledge. That’s why we’re always striving to deliver relevant, current content to keep you up to date with issues that could affect your freedom to drive.

We know the devastating impact that a disqualification from driving could have on a person’s life, career and family. It’s from that understanding that we fight to save the driving licences of motorists throughout the Country, to ensure that no person is disqualified where a valid defence or judicial discretion is available.

If you’ve been unlucky enough to be accused of drink driving or any other motoring offence and need to keep your driving licence, you can call one of our team of Expert Motoring Lawyers at any time on 0330 33 22 770 or email enquiries@ashworthmotoringlaw.co.uk. Our specialist driving offence solicitors will listen to the details of your case and let you know instantly if your licence could be saved.

 

Managing Director Alison Ashworth to appear on BBC’s Inside Out programme

Drug Driving Expert and Managing Director of Ashworth Motoring Law, Alison Ashworth is to be filmed for BBC’s Inside Out Programme tomorrow, 01 September 2016.

Alison Ashworth has spoken out many times in the media to discuss the ‘new’ drug driving offence, appearing on ITV News, BBC 5 Live and in the Guardian and is keen to stress the very low limits which have been set by the controversial law.

The programme is scheduled to be aired in Autumn.

Alison Ashworth; Expert motoring lawyer and Director of www.ashworthmotoringlaw.co.uk

 

If you have been accused of a drug driving offence and would like to discuss your case in confidence with Alison Ashworth, please send an email with your contact details to enquiries@ashworthmotoringlaw.co.uk.

 

 

What sentence can a drug driver expect?

Firstly, there are two drug driving offences:

Section 4 Road Traffic Act 1998  Driving whilst under the influence of drugs.

Section 5a Road Traffic Act 1988 – Driving with a proportion of a controlled drug over the specified limit.

Sentence for people who are found guilty of driving whilst under the influence of drugs:

Someone who is found guilty of driving whilst under the influence of drugs would be sentenced with reference to the level of impairment found in the driver.

Minimum sentence for driving whilst unfit through drugs:

At the lowest end of the spectrum, a person with a moderate level of impairment where their offence contains no aggravating features can expect to receive the following sentence (as a starting point):

  • A 12 – 16-month period of disqualification
  • A band C fine (between 125 -175% of the person’s relevant weekly income)

Maximum sentence for driving whilst unfit through drugs:

At the highest end of the spectrum, a person with a high level of impairment where their offence contains one or more aggravating features can expect to receive the following sentence (as a starting point):

  • A 29 – 36-month period of disqualification
  • 12 weeks in prison and/or a fine of up to £5000

(The maximum sentence for a person who is convicted of an offence in the Magistrates’ Court is 6 months)

The following is a non-exhaustive list of the potential aggravating features relating to this offence:

  • Driving a LGV, HGV, PSV at the time when the offence was committed
  • Poor road or weather conditions
  • Carrying passengers
  • Driving for hire or reward
  • Evidence of unacceptable standard of driving
  • Involved in accident
  • Location e.g. near school
  • High level of traffic or pedestrians in the vicinity

For those who have committed either one of the following offences within the last ten years, the starting point for the disqualification, regardless of the level of impairment increases to 36 months:

  • Causing death by careless driving when under the influence of drink or drugs),]
  • Driving or attempting to drive while unfit through drink or drugs
  • Driving or attempting to drive with excess alcohol
  • Failing to provide a specimen
  • Failing to allow a specimen to be subjected to laboratory test

The full sentencing guidelines for driving whilst under the influence of drugs can be found here:

Sentence for people who are found guilty of driving with a proportion of a controlled drug above the specified limit:

Whilst a great deal is known about the expected sentence for driving whilst under the influence of drugs, precious little is known about the expected sentence for driving with a proportion of a controlled drug over the specified limit. The reason for this is that sentencing guidelines have not yet been produced for this offence.

This places us lawyers in a difficult position when it comes to advising our clients about what sentence they can expect to receive in the event of a conviction.

All that is currently known is the minimum and maximum sentences:

Minimum sentence for driving with excess drugs:

  • A 12-month period of disqualification
  • An unlimited level fine

Maximum sentence for driving with excess drugs:

  • A period of disqualification which is currently uncapped
  • A prison sentence and/or an unlimited level fine

(The maximum sentence for a person who is convicted of an offence in the Magistrates’ Court is 6 months)

The trouble with knowing how to sentence someone for the new offence is that guilt for the offence is not determined by reference to any level of impairment as with the old Section 4 Road Traffic Act 1988 Offence. The government’s own experts who provided guidance regarding the proposed limits of the offence even suggested limits which were significantly higher than the very low specified limits which were set. With this in mind, its likely that a person who provided a specimen which is just under the limit  would experience no impairment whatsoever.

It could be tempting for Judges and Magistrates to sentence offenders in a similar fashion to those who commit a drink driving offence, which is an offence which also does not require any level of impairment to prove guilt for the offence. With reference to the sentencing guidelines for drink driving, we can see that the sentence for a drink driver would increase with reference to the amount of alcohol in their system.

  • A first time offender who is just over the legal limit would face a 12 – 16 month ban.
  • A first time offender who is twice the legal limit would face a 17 – 22 month ban
  • A first time offender who is three times the legal limit would face a 23 – 28 month ban and community service
  • A first time offender who is four times the legal limit would face a 29 – 36 month ban and prison sentence.

However the problem with this approach is that the same logic that applies to the drink driving sentences does not apply to drug driving under the specified limit offence:

Someone who is twice the drink driving limit is likely to be showing some signs of intoxication and would be a danger to other road users. Someone who is four times the drink drive limit would almost certainly display serious signs of intoxication and would clearly put other road users at risk by being on the road.

On the other hand, someone who is twice or even four times the drug driving limit might not display or experience any signs of impairment whatsoever.  Sentencing by reference to the existing guidelines for drink driving is therefore manifestly unfair.

Undoubtedly, the task of setting sentencing guidelines for the section 5a drug driving offence is a daunting one. However, until those guidelines are produced, lawyers and their clients will remain uncertain about the potential sentence that could be imposed for an offence which the driver probably didn’t even realise they were committing in the first place.

Article written by Managing Director and Expert Motoring Lawyer, Alison Ashworth.

Alison Ashworth; Expert motoring lawyer and Director of www.ashworthmotoringlaw.co.uk

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Why we do what we do:

At Ashworth motoring law we are dedicated to keeping drivers on the road. We believe that no driver’s licence should be placed in jeopardy due to a lack of legal or technical knowledge. That’s why we’re always striving to deliver relevant, current content to keep you up to date with issues that could affect your freedom to drive.

We know the devastating impact that a disqualification from driving could have on a person’s life, career and family. It’s from that understanding that we fight to save the driving licences of motorists throughout the Country, to ensure that no person is disqualified where a valid defence or judicial discretion is available.

If you’ve been unlucky enough to be accused of drug driving or any other motoring offence and need to keep your driving licence, you can call one of our team of Expert Motoring Lawyers at any time on 0330 33 22 770 or email enquiries@ashworthmotoringlaw.co.uk. Our specialist driving offence solicitors will listen to the details of your case and let you know instantly if your licence could be saved.

Sentence for drug driving

 

Motoring Lawyers open over the bank holiday weekend

The August bank holiday is almost upon us. Whilst we hope that you have a nice, relaxing weekend, our specialist motoring law solicitors will be on call day and night, including bank holiday Monday should you need our assistance.

If, over the August bank holiday weekend you need a…….

Drink Driving Solicitor

Drug Driving Solicitor

Drunk in Charge Solicitor

Failure to Provide a Specimen Solicitor

Totting up Solicitor

New Driver – Licence Revocation

Speeding Solicitor

Careless Driving Solicitor

Dangerous Driving Solicitor

Failure to Stop and Report an Accident Solicitor

Driving with no Insurance Solicitor

Mobile phone offence Solicitor

Guilty Plea and Mitigation Solicitor

….. feel free to call our free motoring law legal advice line on 0330 33 22 770.  Your call will be answered by one of our expert motoring lawyers who will support you, advise you on the law and guide you to the best possible outcome in your case. In most cases, a ban or even conviction can be avoided.

If you want to know whether your case is one of the many that can be defended, or need to speak to a specialist motoring law solicitor about avoiding a driving ban, then call 0330 33 22 770 or email enquiries@ashworthmotoringlaw.co.uk.

Don’t spend the bank holiday weekend with the worry of a motoring offence hanging over you. Call one of our specialist motoring law solicitors today.

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What is the cocaine drug driving limit?

It is an offence to drive with cocaine or its metabolite; benzoylecgoninein your system at a level which is above the specified limit, regardless of whether your manner of driving is effected.

How Cocaine affects driving:

Taking cocaine can make a person feel more alert, and produce an increase in focus and attention. You’d be forgiven for thinking that using cocaine might actually improve driving ability. However studies have shown that cocaine use increases the likelihood of having a road traffic accident. It’s not difficult to understand why when you consider the additional risk taking and impulsive behaviours that the drug provokes.

Furthermore, once the euphoric “high” of the drug has worn off and the drug metabolises into benzoylecgonine, users can typically encounter a definitive ‘comedown’ lasting around 24 hours in which they can experience exhaustion, depression and anxiety. All of which can affect driving ability.

What is the cocaine drug driving limit?

cocaine drug driving defences

 

 

 

 

The current limit for cocaine in a ‘drug driving’ context has been set at 10 migrogrammes per litre of blood.

The current limit for the cocaine metabolite benzoylecgonine, has been set at 50 microgrammes per litre of blood.

What does this mean in practice? How much cocaine would it take to reach the drug driving limit?

A typical ‘line’ contains between 35 mg to 100 mg of cocaine. However this depends on a variety of factors including what the drug has been adulterated (cut) with. For example, some quantities of cocaine have been found to contain a level of purity of less than 5% whilst the ‘street’ average is usually around 50% pure cocaine. For this reason, it is difficult to say how much a person would need to take before they reach the limit; however common sense would say that the answer is “not very much at all”. The limits  have been set in such a way as to allow only for “accidental” exposure. Also, you would need to take into consideration individual characteristics such as the body’s metabolic rate (the rate at which a person’s body breaks down the substance), height and gender etc. The answer of how much cocaine would it take to reach the drug driving limit would therefore differ from person to person.

Is the cocaine drug driving limit unfair?

When the government was considering setting the cocaine drug driving limit, it enlisted a panel of advisers ranging from specialists in pharmacokinetics (the science of what the body does to a drug), pharmacology and psychopharmacology, forensic toxicology, misuse of drugs, clinical practice, mental health, addiction science and transport safety. After considering all of the options, and the evidence relating to the point at which a user would become at risk of a road traffic accident or impaired driving, the recommended cocaine limit for driving that they came to was 80 micrograms of cocaine per litre of blood and 500 micrograms of benzoylecgonine per litre of blood; much higher than the limits that are in place today. The actual limits are set at only 10mg for cocaine and 50mg for the metabolite.

With particular reference to the fact that the panel of experts recommended a limit of 500mg for benzoylecgonine, the metabolite so as to exclude prosecution for cocaine consumption that occurred several days ago, it will be left in the mind of the reader to determine whether the drug driving limits are unfair. It is also with noting that this trend continues throughout all of the illicit substances listed under the new offence.

What is the sentence for driving whilst over the cocaine drug driving limit?

Pleading guilty to a charge of driving with a proportion of cocaine in the body above the specified limit will result in a mandatory disqualification for at least 12 months. An unlimited level fine. A possible prison sentence of up to six months. A criminal record. The offence would also appear on the person’s driving licence for 11 years.

Are there any defences to driving whilst over the cocaine drug driving limit?

Sadly, despite a driver’s licence, career and whole life being on the line following a conviction for this offence, we know that the police, prosecution and forensic laboratories often make mistakes during the investigation and prosecution process for this offence. For that reason there are in fact many potential defences for a charge of drug driving. So much so that our managing director and high court advocate Alison Ashworth has never lost a case that she has taken on. We would therefore encourage any driver who has been accused of this offence to contact our confidential advice line on 0330 33 22 770 for free initial advice on whether their particular case can be defended.

Article written by Managing Director and Expert Motoring Lawyer, Alison Ashworth.

Alison Ashworth; Expert motoring lawyer and Director of www.ashworthmotoringlaw.co.uk

FOUND THIS INFORMATION USEFUL? SHARE IT WITH A FRIEND

Why we do what we do:

At Ashworth motoring law we are dedicated to keeping drivers on the road. We believe that no driver’s licence should be placed in jeopardy due to a lack of legal or technical knowledge. That’s why we’re always striving to deliver relevant, current content to keep you up to date with issues that could affect your freedom to drive.

We know the devastating impact that a disqualification from driving could have on a person’s life, career and family. It’s from that understanding that we fight to save the driving licences of motorists throughout the Country, to ensure that no person is disqualified where a valid defence or judicial discretion is available.

If you’ve been unlucky enough to be accused of drug driving or any other motoring offence and need to keep your driving licence, you can call one of our team of Expert Motoring Lawyers at any time on 0330 33 22 770 or email enquiries@ashworthmotoringlaw.co.uk. Our specialist driving offence solicitors will listen to the details of your case and let you know instantly if your licence could be saved.