Ashworth Motoring Lawyers are Tough Mudders!

Earlier this month, some of our brave lawyers took on the mammoth task of running the North West Tough Mudder course; a 10 mile army assault course filled with lots of mud!

From being dunked in ice cube filled muddy water at “arctic enema” to being electrocuted with 10,000 volts in “electric shock therapy”, our lawyers proved that with determination and grit, no obstacle is too tough to overcome.

We tackled the course to raise vital funds for Alder Hey Children’s Charity, of which our Managing Director, Alison Ashworth and her daughter, Lexie are ambassadors.

Alder Hey Children’s Charity works tirelessly to develop better, safer medicines and treatments for young patients and uses cutting edge technology to improve the experience of children in hospital.  Alder Hey also plays a key role in training the next generation of children’s healthcare professionals, with 500 student doctors and 400 student nurses trained each year.

To sponsor our lawyers and donate to Alder Hey Children’s Charity, please visit https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/toughmudderforalderhey

How to cut the cost of your vehicle insurance

Last month, our Managing Director, Alison Ashworth went into the BBC Lancashire Studio to discuss the price of vehicle insurance live on air with presenter, Graham Liver.

This comes as it was announced that the North West has the highest cost of car insurance in mainland Britain according to the AA’s National Index.

A number of factors could be to blame for the increased cost.

As outlined on air, one of the reasons is the high proportion of so called cash for crash schemes operating in the North West area, with Bolton and Oldham identified as the worst hit areas of the UK.

What is cash for crash?

Cash for crash is the term given to an accident which is deliberately caused for the purpose of financial gain. These schemes include instances where the fraudster would drive a vehicle and slam on the breaks, giving the innocent motorist behind little to no chance of avoiding the inevitable crash. The fraudster would then go on to claim for personal injury, vehicle damage, loss of earnings, a hire car etc. The list goes on.

It is thought that one in seven personal injury claims are associated with a cash for crash scheme.

Statistically, these schemes cost the insurance industry over £400 million per year, with an additional £50 being added on to the cost of every motor insurance policy every year.

How can we bring down the cost of our vehicle insurance?

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

Install a device to monitor your driving

Many insurers now recognise the benefits of installing a blackbox type device or camera to monitor your driving and provide evidence in liability disputes.

Companies such as K-safe and Joovuu offer such devices and have revolutionised the way that fault is attributed in accidents.

Bikers – K-safe

“K-Safe have developed MiBB, a wearable sensor that provides automatic monitoring and analysis of incidents. MiBB covers a wide range of industries and activities including but not limited to motorcyclists, cyclists, snowboarders and skiers. Our sensor is able to integrate with existing claims management solutions, provide quicker medical assistance (reducing complexity/severity of injuries and therefore cost per claim) and provide end-users with lower insurance premiums through selected insurance partners.” Aaron Lloyd; Chief Operating Officer of K-safe.

Cars – JooVuu X

“The JooVuu X is a camera that captures the truth every time you drive.  With its discreet design but powerful hardware, the JooVuu X can be mounted anywhere within your car and capture everything in crystal clear quality, day or night.  The JooVuu X is the perfect dash camera to help you fight against fraudulent car insurance claims and bad drivers.  It is the best eye-witness money can buy.” Daniel Jaenicke; Chief Executive of JooVuu X.

Shop around

Never accept the renewal offer from your insurer without first obtaining quotes from competitors to see whether you could be getting a better deal.

Pay upfront

Paying your insurance annually can net you on average savings over £60. It also reduces the risks of you being charged with an offence such as driving without insurance by lessening the chance of you missing a monthly payment.

Increase your excess

Increasing the amount that you’d be willing to pay out when making a claim can significantly decrease the overall cost of your vehicle insurance quote. Work out what you can afford and adjust your policy accordingly.

Decrease your added extras

Most insurance policies include a range of optional extras such as windscreen, breakdown and legal cover. Restricting the number of added extras on your policy can really help to bring the cost of the policy down.

Build up a lengthy period of no claims bonus

In short, the longer the period of no claims bonus, the cheaper the policy will be. No reasonable driver ever really wants to be involved in an accident. Staying alert at all times and driving cautiously will reduce your risk of having an accident and will reduce the cost of your annual premium.

Keep a clean licence

It’s no secret that penalty points mean an increase in insurance premiums. Take the time to read about some of the more common motoring offences on this site and stick to the law. If you’ve been caught out and are offered the opportunity to avoid the points by attending a course then take it. You will thank yourself when it comes time for your renewal.

Take care over your job description

There are strange but significant discrepancies when it comes to the quotes associated with certain professions.

For example, describing yourself as a Chef could cost you £98 more than being “kitchen staff”, and classing yourself as “full time parent” or “retired” rather than “unemployed” could save you almost £300.

If your job could fit into more than one of the descriptions offered by the insurance provider, run checks for each applicable job type.

Article written by Specialist Motoring Lawyer, Alison Ashworth; Managing Director of Ashworth Motoring Law.

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 motoring offence and would like to discuss your case in confidence with a specialist motoring law 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.

 

Tyre Safety – Basic Checks

October is National Tyre Safety month and as specialists in Motoring Law, we want to raise awareness of the vitally important checks that should be performed on a vehicle’s tyres to ensure they’re safe and legal.

Basic Tyre checks:

  • Tyre tread – The legal tread depth is 1.6mm. This can be checked by inserting a 20p into the tyre’s tread groove. If you can see the rim of the coin at any point around the circumference, then the tyre may be illegal.
  • Tyre pressure – The recommended tyre pressure for your vehicle can be found on the inside of your car door, petrol cap or owner’s manual. Tyres can be inflated to the correct pressure at most petrol stations.
  • Tyre condition – You should regularly check for any lumps, bumps or cuts in the tyre. If you are unsure about the condition of your tyre you should seek advice from your local tyre specialist.

Being caught with defective tyres would result in a £2500 fine and three penalty points per tyre.

Driving on defective tyres also significantly increases your risk of being involved in an accident.

Many local retailers are offering free tyre health check throughout the month of October. To find your local dealer visit: www.tyresafe.org/campaigns/tyre-safety-month-2016-2/dealer-locator/

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 motoring offence and would like to discuss your case in confidence with a specialist motoring law 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.

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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.

 

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

 

Managing Director, Alison Ashworth nominated for prestigious local award

We are proud to announce that our Managing Director has been nominated for a Rossendale Business Award!

Rossendale born and bred Alison Ashworth has been nominated for the Enterprising Woman Award which recognises valley business leaders for their strength, independence and confidence in leading businesses to success and who are an inspiration to other women.

Alison said:

“I am delighted to have been nominated for this award. Being a female in business can be difficult but being a female in law can be even harder. Despite women dominating the legal profession at entry level there is a significant drop off when it comes to senior and managerial positions, with only eight women holding senior management positions in the UK’s top 50 law firms in 2015.

I reject that trend and seek to turn it on its head. In February this year, I set up a national law firm which specialises in defending drivers who are facing the possible loss of their driving licence. The firm is made up of an all female panel of Directors, including my mother and friend, Colette Ashworth.

The fact of women missing out on some of the top jobs in the legal profession is a result of a number of factors, including sexism and the reality of women having time off or leaving the profession due to family commitments. I am living proof that it doesn’t need to be that way. I am a single mother who gave birth to my beautiful daughter whilst I was at law school. I’m proof that it is possible to juggle studies with sleepless nights, potty training and teething. I’m proof that it’s possible to rise up to the demands of a training contract (preliminary on-the-job legal training) whilst raising a toddler. I’m proof that it’s possible to set up a successful motoring law department whilst adjusting to the new routine of a child starting school, and I’m proof that it’s possible to set up your own firm and give back to other women in the profession whilst hopefully inspiring them not to give up; letting them know that anything is possible despite whatever circumstance women find themselves in. “

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

The Rossendale Business Awards will be held at Riverside, Whitworth, Rossendale, Lancashire on Wednesday 09 November 2016.

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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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