Not Guilty – another drug driving acquittal

Being accused of drug driving is one of the most frightening and stressful things that can happen to any motorist. A conviction could mean a driving ban, criminal conviction, loss of a career, loss of independence, the list goes on. Thankfully, with our expert motoring law solicitors on hand, the nightmare of false charges being brought can be overcome by dedicated and focused legal work to secure the rightful result – a not guilty verdict.

Our recent client from Northamptonshire talks about his recent experience:

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After facing the worst few months of my life the potential risk of losing my license was the last thing I needed on top of everything else. Ashworth’s took the worry of my case away and did not lead me on into thinking I would win when I wouldn’t they clearly stated all of the issues with the evidence the police required before my trial. It would have been easy to admit guilt to the allegations even though they wasn’t true, but with Ashworth’s they gave me the confidence to fight my case.

Colette and I communicated on a daily basis and she was always there to answer any questions I had. Alison was great too and went above and beyond the night before my trial, and Stuart the barrister was great too. Couldn’t recommend these guys enough.

Anonymous motorist who was found not guilty of drug driving from Northamptonshire

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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.

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

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“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

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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:

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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”

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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.

Ashworth Motoring Law celebrates phenomenal month

It’s been a busy month here at Ashworth Motoring Law and October has been one our best yet!

Ashworth Motoring Law on BBC TV

The Month began with our Managing Director, Alison Ashworth featuring on BBC’S Inside Out Programme discussing the new Drug Driving Offence and raising awareness of the very low limits that are applicable to drugs of abuse. The programme aired on Monday 03 October 2016 following over two hours of filming in September at the Law Society in London.

Month Long campaign for Tyre Safety

October was National Tyre Safety Month. As a Law Firm who keeps road safety firmly in mind, we ran a month-long campaign to increase awareness of basic tyre checks, promote free tyre health checks and educate drivers of the potential sentence for driving on defective tyres.

Managing Director Shortlisted as a Finalist for Prestigious Award

Our very own Alison Ashworth has been shortlisted as one of four finalists in the prestigious Rossendale Business Awards for the “Enterprising Woman Award”. The awards ceremony will be held at Riverside, Whitworth, Rossendale, Lancashire on Wednesday 09 November 2016.

Back to school

Directors Colette Ashworth and Alison Ashworth went back to their roots to give a talk to the Students of their old Law School. With a focus on gaining the best out of their education, expanding their professional network and overcoming adversity, Colette and Alison sought to encourage and inspire the next generation of Lawyers.

Interns take centre stage

This month saw nine new interns given the once in a lifetime opportunity to gain experience at our leading law firm. With interns from Manchester Metropolitan University and The University Centre at Blackburn College taking up positions in computing, accounting, law, marketing and legal management, the next few months are set to be an exciting time at our growing firm.

Ashworth Motoring Law on BBC Radio

Towards the end of the month, our Alison Ashworth was invited into the BBC Radio Lancashire studio to discuss the increasing cost of car insurance live on air, speaking to breakfast show presenter Graham Liver on 27 October 2016. Since the show, Ashworth Motoring Law have begun working with North West based K-safe and Joovuu to bring down the cost of vehicle insurance around the North West and beyond.

….And of course, we still haven’t lost a case!

Ashworth Motoring Law is a Highly Specialised National Law Firm which focuses solely on representing drivers who are facing the possible loss of their driving licence. To discuss any motoring offence in confidence and find out whether your licence can be saved, call our mobile friendly helpline on 0330 33 22 770 or email enquiries@ashworthmotoringlaw.co.uk for free initial advice.

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

 

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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