Proposed changes to Dangerous Driving Law could Send Offenders to Prison for Life

Dangerous drivers could face harsher sentences as a new bill by former Prime Minister Theresa May makes it way through the Commons. The bill proposes to make changes to dangerous driving laws. The changes will increase courts freedom to issue tougher sentences for those who have committed serious motoring offences.

The updates could see some offenders issued life sentences to stop them walking clear after just years.

Drivers who kill others after speeding, racing, or using a phone, could receive life sentences under new legislation.

Serious dangerous driving accident

Those who cause death by careless driving under the influence of drink or drugs could also get a life sentence.

It comes after police forces have revealed that 555 drivers were killed or seriously injured in England and Wales through dangerous driving in the year to March.

Changes to the Road Traffic Offenders Act 1988 will be known as “Violet Grace Law” in memory of a four-year-old child who was killed in a shocking dangerous driving incident.

The child was struck by a vehicle driving dangerously at over 80mph in a 30mph speed zone just three years ago.

However, the driver was jailed for just nine years and four months, meaning the offender could be released just next year.

The sentencing reforms will likely be introduced in Parliament early next year.

A new offence of causing serious injury by careless driving is also being proposed.

Currently, without that specific offence, drivers who cause injuries under such circumstances can only be convicted of careless driving – which has the maximum penalty of a fine.

RAC spokesman Simon Williams said the proposed changes for tougher sentences would send a “strong message” to offenders.

He said: “While Britain might have some of the safest roads in Europe, it is a horrendous thought that each year more than 500 drivers in England and Wales are convicted of killing others as a result of their decision to drive dangerously”.

Permitting courts to issue much tougher sentences will send a strong message to motorists and will go some way towards reassuring families of victims killed in collisions that the law is on their side.

The new driving proposals were backed by two-thirds of road users in a massive RAC survey.

The poll revealed that a quarter of road users believe maximum sentences should be increased from the current 14 year maximum.

A massive 40 percent revealed that courts should be able to hand out a life sentence if they believe this is appropriate.

The Government pledged in 2017 to change the law to impose tougher penalties on the worst offenders.

Justice Secretary Robert Buckland said:

“This government has been clear that punishments must fit the crime, but too often families tell us this isn’t the case with killer drivers.

“So, today I am announcing that we will bring forward legislation early next year to introduce life sentences for dangerous drivers who kill on our roads, and ensure they feel the full force of the law.”

Any increase will apply to offences in England, Scotland, and Wales, but not Northern Ireland, which has separate road safety laws.

Call 0330 33 22 770 any time to speak to a specialist motoring law Solicitor if you require advice or assistance with any driving offence.

When Speeding turns into Dangerous Driving

speedometer

When a person is caught speeding, the usual consequences include:

  1. An invitation to attend a speed awareness course;
  2. A fixed penalty of 3 points and a £100 fine;
  3. A Court summons to attend a hearing at the Magistrates’ Court and up to 6 penalty points or a ban of up to 56 days and a fine of up to £1000 (or £2500 if speeding on the motorway).

However, where the level of the speed is so excessive, the Crown Prosecution Service could consider laying an additional charge of Dangerous Driving.

Unfortunately, there appears to be no uniform approach to what level of speed would provoke the more serious charge of dangerous driving. Sadly, some geographical areas tend to take a different approach to others. I’ve acted on cases where motorists have been ‘lucky’ and avoided the more serious charge and on cases where they have not.

The Dangerous Driving charge can be, and is laid in cases where the only ‘dangerous’ factor is the speed.

There is a common misconception that to be charged with dangerous driving, you must have performed some type of risky manoeuvre such as overtaking multiple cars on a blind bend or driving on the wrong side of the road. It is a further misconception that there must be some form of consequence from the dangerous driving, such as an accident.  This is simply not the case.

I have acted on a number of previous cases where the only factor which made the person’s driving dangerous was the speed.  This is not difficult to understand when the test for dangerous driving is explored:

The test for dangerous driving is simply: whether the person’s standard of driving fell far below the standard expected of a competent driver, and whether it would be obvious to a competent driver that the person’s manner of driving would be dangerous.

The consequences of a conviction for dangerous driving when speed is the only ‘dangerous’ factor

Unfortunately, regardless of how the driving is deemed dangerous, the basic legal consequences of a dangerous driving conviction remain the same:

  • A mandatory minimum 12 month disqualification from driving;
  • An extended re-test;
  • An unlimited fine;
  • Community service or a prison sentence.

In addition, the case could be sent to Crown Court if the Magistrates feel their sentencing powers are insufficient for the nature of the offence.

How many people are driving at excessive speeds during the lockdown?

The Department of Transport has advised that motor vehicle use on Great Britain’s roads has decreased by two thirds since the lockdown started on 23rd March.

Despite this statistic, Greater Manchester Police (GMP) say that they caught more than 6,200 drivers breaking speed limits during the period 23rd March to 22nd April. One driver was clocked driving 115 miles per hour (mph) on a 40 mph road and another 129 mph on the M62.

It is not just the GMP that has noticed the high number of speeding offences during the lockdown. Avon and Somerset Police have stated that 1,391 drivers were charged with speeding offences during the same period. 144 of those caught were charged with high end offences due to the high speeds they were travelling, meaning they will automatically face prosecution due to the severity of their offences.

Gloucestershire Police recorded one driver at 74 mph in a 30 mph speed limit.

Police in Wales have seen a multitude of high-speed offences including speeds of 105 mph in a 60 mph speed limit, 114 mph and 104 mph on 70 mph roads.

Lincolnshire Police forces have stated that they have experienced a doubling in the number of speeding offences despite a reduction by two thirds in the amount of traffic.

These statistics certainly are shocking. However, they make no mention of the number of motorists who are routinely caught driving at excessive speeds in lower speed limit areas. Having acted on such cases in the past, I know that these offences, which often take place in built up areas, can be viewed far more harshly in the Courts.

If you’ve been caught driving at an excessive speed and are worried about a dangerous driving charge

Ashworth Motoring Law are specialists in representing drivers who are charged with driving at particularly excessive speeds. No matter how bad your case might seem, we can assure you it’s probably not the worst we’ve seen!

Whether you’re looking for a specialist speeding or dangerous driving solicitor to identify a defence to clear your name, or want to secure the best possible outcome and ultimately avoid a prison sentence, we can help.

Our specialist motoring law solicitors have secured some truly phenomenal results in cases just like yours. We are proud to say that despite the very real likelihood of a custodial sentence in dangerous driving cases, not a single previous client of ours has ever been sent to prison.

Call now!

Feel free to take a look at our specialist sections on Speeding, Dangerous Driving, or our Guilty Plea and Mitigation Service for more information, or call one of our expert motoring lawyers on 0330 33 22 770 for free initial advice. We look forward to hearing from you.

Article written by Expert Motoring Law Solicitor and Managing Director of Ashworth Motoring Law, Alison Ashworth

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

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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.

 

Another glowing review of our services!

Here’s what another satisfied client had to say about our services:

Alison took the time to listen to our concerns and dealt with third parties on our behalf to ensure our case was fairly dealt with. She was considerate, efficient and a lady who gets the job done and gets the results. I cannot speak highly enough of Alison and her colleagues – there is nothing she or her team could have done better.

 

Alison dealt with our case with understanding and professionalism. She fought on our behalf to ensure third parties provided testimonials to ensure our son’s case was dealt with fairly. We had gone to another solicitor before hearing about Alison’s firm and I am confident that had we stayed with that firm our son would now be serving a prison sentence. Alison ensured the barrister we got on the day was excellent, both she and one of her colleagues took the time out of their busy schedule to ensure that we were represented in the manner she requested.  From the first conversation with Alison I felt a great sense of relief that she listened to my concerns and suggested a strategy that the previous solicitors didn’t. She was not happy to accept that there was nothing that could be done and she put herself out considerably to ensure our son was represented fairly.

 

If you ever find yourself at the wrong side of the law with a motoring offence you could not do better than Ashworth Motoring Law.

Thank you so much Alison.

Angela – Cheshire

thumbs up ashworth motoring law

If you’ve been accused of a driving 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.

We look forward to hearing from you.

 

Changes to speeding fines

Guest Article by Jasmine Garton.

 

The maximum fine for speeding has long been £1,000 (unless on the motorway, in which case the fine could be up to £2,500) alongside the possibility of penalty points or a disqualification.

 
However, with the introduction of changes to the operation of speeding fines under the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984, s.89(1), the maximum amount you can be fined has now increased as of the 24th April 2017.

 
Of course, the best piece of advice that can be given is to simply remain safe and under the speed limit at all times to avoid any unwanted penalties being incurred.

 
If one is to abide by the strict rule of the law, then the second you surpass the designated speed limit, you are liable for a speeding ticket. In reality, it is unlikely that you will be brought up for speeding if for example you are doing 21mph in a 20mph zone, due to practicality (faulty speedometers, etc.)

 
It is worth noting however, that this could occur and so acknowledging the recent legislative changes now is in your best interests.

 

Outline of the recent changes

 
As of the 24th April, three main bands of speeding fines exist; namely Band A, Band B and Band C, from the lowest penalty to the highest, respectively. The band which an offender falls within is reflective of their culpability (blameworthiness) and the level of seriousness of the offence. The following are examples of speeding which fall into each band:

 
• Band A – Driving between 21 to 30mph in a 20mph zone, 31 to 40mph in a 40mph zone and 71 to 90mph in a 70mph zone
• Band B – Driving between 31 to 40mph in 20 mph zone, 56 to 65mph in 40 mph zone and up to 100mph in 70 mph zone
• Band C – Driving 41mph and above in 20 mph zone, 51 and above in 30 mph and above 100 in 70 mph zone

 
What this means for motorists

 
Once the band has been determined, the imposition of a fine is then correlative to the relevant weekly income of the offender.

 
Each band has a starting point, applicable to all motorists, which go up in 50% increments between the respective bands:

 
• A fine of 50% of your weekly income could be expected under Band A, as well as 3 points on your licence
• A fine of 100% of your weekly income could be expected under Band B, as well as 4-6 points on your licence or disqualification for 7-28 days
• A fine of 150% of your weekly income could be expected under Band C, as well as 6 points on your licence or disqualification for 7-56 days

 
It is worth mentioning that although these Bands highlight the changes that will be relevant to most motorists, there is also Bands D, E and F which are applicable if an offender is grossly in excess of the speed limit. The same level of increase as highlighted above applies to Bands D-F and disqualification could be in excess of 56 days.

 
Fine bands D-F may be applicable where the community or custodial threshold has been passed, but in the circumstances of the case it is more appropriate to order a fine, the latter being sufficient in satisfying the aims of sentencing.

 
Aggravating and Mitigating Factors

 
Although these starting points within each Band exist, there is a 25% margin of appreciation either way upon reflection of any mitigating (justifying) or aggravating (worsening) factors that can be proven. A non-exhaustive list of these factors is mentioned in the guidelines to the revised Regulation.

 
For instance, aggravating factors may include location (e.g. If near school or high level of pedestrians in vicinity), carrying passengers or a heavy load, or poor road or weather conditions.

 
On the other hand, examples of mitigating factors could be good character of the offender, if a genuine emergency is established, or if the motorist is a first time offender.

Ashworth Motoring Law penalty points, how many points are on your driving licence

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 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.

 

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.

tyre-safety-motoring-law

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

 

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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