How to check if your vehicle is insured today

The law requires you to have valid vehicle insurance in place.

Failure to have at least third party insurance in place would result initially in these potential offences:

If your vehicle is shown as having no insurance and you’ve not declared it as being off road (SORN), you could be prosecuted and face a fine of up to £1000, even though you didn’t drive the vehicle.

The sentence for being caught driving a vehicle that is found to have no insurance in place is much more severe – a fine of up to £5000, 6 – 8 penalty points on your driving licence or an instant disqualification from driving. Your vehicle could also be seized and destroyed.

With these severe penalties in mind, it’s always worth checking whether your vehicle is insured RIGHT NOW.

How to check if your vehicle is insured right now:

To check whether your vehicle is currently insured, simply enter your vehicle registration into the search field at the following link:

Searching the motor insurance database for details of your own vehicle is free, and can prevent a potential disaster down the line if an error or missed payment means that your insurance has lapsed.Policy of insurance, how to check

Why would I need to check my vehicle’s insurance?

At Ashworth Motoring Law, we are frequently contacted by extremely unfortunate drivers who have been caught driving without insurance despite firmly believing that adequate insurance was in place.

Typical examples of this include:

  • A missed payment that the driver was not aware of
  • Failure to respond to a request for information
  • Failure to supply a document or evidence required by the insurer

You need only check your own policy’s terms and conditions to see the various circumstances under which your insurance policy could be cancelled.

Whilst you would expect the insurer to contact you to let you know that your insurance has been cancelled, there are many instances where this vital message never reaches the driver of the vehicle.

For example, your address may have changed, a postal issue could have prevented you from receiving the notification, you may have been out of the country or you may just have had bad personal administration at that particular time.

Nevertheless, it is your responsibility to ensure that your vehicle is insured at all times. Saying that you did not receive any notice of cancellation or explaining that such correspondence was sent to a previous address would unfortunately not be a defence. Why not give yourself peace of mind and double check your insurance status today?

Don’t forget that certain offences such as drink driving and driving whilst disqualified typically invalidate your insurance. So if you have an accident whilst committing these more serious offences you are extremely unlikely to be paid out.

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

Alison Ashworth; Expert motoring lawyer and Director of

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 caught driving without insurance 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 Our specialist driving offence solicitors will listen to the details of your case and let you know instantly if your licence could be saved.




Can you play Pokemon Go whilst driving?

It’s less than one week since Pokemon Go went live in the UK, and it’s already causing havoc on our roads.

There’ve been reports of gamers walking into the middle of roads to catch Pokemon, motorways clogged due to drivers abandoning their cars to play Pokemon battles, and now people are now attempting to catch Pokemon whilst driving.

Whilst we’re sure you don’t need an expert in motoring law to tell you that this is clearly illegal, here are some of the potential consequences you’d face if caught doing this by the police.

  • 3 points and a fine for using a mobile telephone, or tablet, or any other form of interactive communication device used to play the game whilst driving.
  • 3 – 9 Penalty points or a ban for careless or inconsiderate driving if playing the game causes your standard of driving to fall below that which is expected of a competent driver or if you failed to show reasonable consideration for other pedestrians or vehicles.
  • A minimum 12 month disqualification from driving and possible prison sentence for dangerous driving if your standard of driving falls far below the standard expected of a competent driver; and It would be obvious to a competent driver that the manner of your driving would be dangerous. We think that any competent driver would conclude that playing Pokemon whilst driving would be dangerous!

The above legal consequences are of course nothing in comparison to the very real physical dangers that doing something so distracting whilst behind the wheel of a car would present to you and other motorists and pedestrians using the road.

Know someone who needs to see this information? Please share and spread the word!

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

The specialist Driving Offence Solicitors at Ashworth Motoring Law are experts in defending all types of Motoring Offence. From totting up, using a mobile phone whilst driving to drug driving, our Specialist Motoring Lawyers can help. If you have been charged with Driving Offence and would like to speak to a specialist Motoring Law solicitor about your case, call 0330 33 22 770 for free initial advice or email

Pokemon Go whilst driving

Motoring Lawyers open over the bank holiday weekend

Another bank holiday is thankfully 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 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


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.





What is the cannabis drug driving limit?

Since the new “specified limit” drug driving offence came into force in March 2015, we’ve received a significant number of calls from worried motorists who are unsure of how much cannabis they are allowed to smoke, or how long they need to wait before getting behind the wheel of a car.

The drug driving limit for Cannabis:

The drug drive limit for THC (the active ingredient in cannabis) has been set at 2ng.

There is no current limit set for carboxy- THC (the cannabis metabolite).

How much weed can I smoke before reaching the cannabis drug driving limit?

cannabis drug driving limit, how much can you smoke

The UK drug driving limits have been set extremely low, at an almost zero tolerance level. The limits are so low that experts have suggested that one single puff on a joint would be enough to put you over the limit.

When the Government  considered setting the limit, it invited the views of a panel of experts to consult on what the limit should be. The experts suggested that the limit should by 5ng; over twice the limit that was eventually set.

With the extremely low limit in mind, we would recommend avoiding smoking cannabis if you know that you are going to be driving. There is no ‘safe’ limit; it would be impossible to try and set one. Even if the drug driving limit were higher, it would be impossible to say how much weed could be smoked before getting behind the wheel of a car: There are too many external differentials such as:

  • The strength and type of cannabis
  • The time taken to smoke the joint
  • Your height and weight
  • The rate at which your own body breaks down substances (your metabolic rate)
  • Whether you have any underlying medical conditions.

The list could go on and on.

How long do I need to wait after smoking a joint before driving?

There’s been much debate over how long you should wait after smoking cannabis before driving.

A great deal depends on how much you’ve smoked, how strong the cannabis is and how frequently you tend to smoke it. THC can be stored in fat cells; therefore it can typically take longer to leave the body than many other drugs.

Some sources suggest that the active THC is clear of the system in significant amounts within as little as two and a half hours, and other sources such as the NHS suggest that it can take up to two months for a heavy user of cannabis to display results that are free of THC. The question is whether the THC displayed in the results would be over the prescribed low limit of 2ng?

Under the older “Section 4 Road Traffic Act 1988 Driving whilst impaired through drugs” offence, cannabis users were able to rely on their own judgement to determine whether they were fit to drive. They could only be prosecuted if their manner of driving was impaired and the impairment was linked to evidence of a drug in their system.

Under the newest “Section 5A Road Traffic Act 1988 Specified limit drug driving offence” it’s a complete guessing game. The police can now charge you with drug driving even if you drove perfectly normally and showed no signs of drug use. All that they need to Prosecute is a positive specimen of blood which is over the specified limit.

Since the police no longer need to prove any impairment to charge you with a drug driving offence, it is absolutely vital that you leave as long as you can before driving if you have smoked cannabis.

We’ve represented many drivers who had only smoked a very small amount of cannabis the night before and were pulled over by the police for something very minor and later charged for drug driving.  Therefore we can add from the benefit of our experience that it really does not take a large quantity of cannabis to reach the low limits which are currently in place, and people are still showing signs of the drug in their system over the specified limit long after the effects have worn off.

Frustratingly, this leaves cannabis users in a situation where you might get behind the wheel of a car completely oblivious to whether you are committing a criminal offence or not. It seems the only way to be 100% sure that you avoid prosecution is to either never smoke cannabis or never drive a car. This vague non-solution seems to highlight the real purpose of the drug driving law – to clamp down on those who take drugs, not necessarily to tackle the effects of drug driving, since the law is not concerned whether your driving caused even the remotest danger to the public or to yourself.

What happens if I plead guilty to Drug Driving?

A conviction for drug driving could ruin your whole life. It’s a minimum 12 month disqualification from driving, a fine of up to £5000 and for the worst offenders, up to 6 months in prison. In the absence of formal sentencing guidelines to assist the Court in sentencing those who plead guilty or are found guilty, the Courts have already shown a willingness to send people to prison for committing this offence.

The offence would go down on your record as a criminal conviction and would appear on your driving licence as a drug driving offence for eleven years.

A drug driving conviction can cause problems travelling to countries such as America, and would need to be declared to certain future employers, particularly in professions such as medicine and the law.

A conviction for drug driving would also lead to significant future insurance premiums once you eventually got back on the road

Can a drug driving offence be defended?

At Ashworth Motoring law we are specialists in defending drug driving allegations, so much so that we have a 100% record in securing acquittals. Defences tend to centre on issues concerning the reliability of the Prosecution evidence (we are finding that there are serious issues concerning the way that many samples have been analysed) and concerning the procedure. For practical reasons we cannot list all potential defences in this article but would urge anyone who is considering defending a drug driving allegation to contact our helpline on 0330 33 22 770 for free initial advice from one of our expert drug driving solicitors.


STILL no Sentencing Guidelines for Drug Driving!

Expert opinion by Specialist Drug Driving Lawyer, Alison Ashworth – Managing Director of Ashworth Motoring Law.

Over one year since the new “specified limit” drug driving law was introduced and there are STILL no sentencing guidelines in place to regulate the way that offenders are punished.

Sentencing guidelines (such as the attached with reference to drink driving) are used by Judges and Magistrates to help them decide what sentence to impose when a person either pleads guilty or is found guilty of an offence.

Prior to the introduction of the new offence, I contacted the sentencing council to ask when the guidelines for the new drug driving offence would be put in place. I was told to expect them in at least 2016.

Having seen reports of significantly different sentencing approaches between different Courts as I predicted in this BBC radio interview that I gave on the day that the new law came into force, I recently contacted the sentencing council again to find out how soon the guidelines were likely to be released.  I was told that their two year plan does not include work on this guideline but that it is anticipated that it will be added to the work plan in the future. The sentencing council added that as with any relatively new piece of legislation there is the need to allow a certain period of time to pass before producing guidelines as the production of a guideline relies on research and evidence.

The concern that I have is that Judges and Magistrates are, in the meantime tempted to sentence offenders in a similar manner to guidelines which are available. Take the drink drive limit for example. Our drink driving limits are amongst the highest in Europe. A person who is three times over the limit is likely to be showing some pretty significant signs of intoxication, and their manner of driving along with the level of risk that they pose to themselves and to the public is likely to be significantly effected.

Now let’s look at the drug driving limits. The drug driving limits have been set so low that even one puff on a joint could be enough to put someone over the limit, despite them feeling no effects from the drug, and their manner of driving being perfectly normal. In fact the Governments own panel of experts suggested that a person would be technically fit to drive with twice the current level of THC (cannabis) in their system, although the Government chose to disregard the expert panel’s advice and pursue the current, almost zero tolerance limits for every single illicit drug listed under the legislation.

There have in fact been reports of individuals who have been caught 25 and 50 times over the drug driving limit yet showing no obvious signs of having taken a drug with perfectly normal standards of driving.  If the same level of consumption was extended to alcohol, the person would most likely be either in hospital or dead. If they somehow managed to survive, then they would be facing the most serious sentencing category of the guidelines and would be facing a prison sentence because the level of impairment is so intrinsically linked to the amount of alcohol consumed .

There is a significant risk that motorists are being unduly punished with tangibly greater severity than is warranted, indeed the Courts have displayed a willingness to send drivers to prison for committing the new specified limit drug driving offence.

Whilst I do not condone drug driving, or drug taking, I do, as a defence lawyer have a passion for fighting against injustice and ensuring that my clients are treated fairly by the Courts. Although the overwhelming majority of my clients choose to plead not guilty to this offence after an initial investigation into the merits of their defence, I do have a duty to advise those who wish to plead guilty on the likely sentence that they could face. In the absence of the guidelines, and with the differing approaches which are being taken by the Courts, this continues to be a difficult task.

Is it fair to sentence a young cannabis user who was twice the legal limit for THC (cannabis) and who was not even remotely effected by the small amount that he took in the same way as a drink driver who was twice the limit and barely able to stand up? I certainly don’t think so.

When the guidelines are eventually produced, I would like to see a strong link between the expected level of impairment and the amount of substance in a person’s system, although by then it might be too late for the many who are left unrepresented in Court facing the lucky dip that appears to be the current sentencing approach in the meantime.

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

Ashworth Motoring Law are experts in defending drug driving offences. If you have been charged with drug driving and would like to speak to a specialist drug driving solicitor about your case, call 0330 33 22 770 for free initial advice.  

Free legal advice for drug driving offences from the specialist drug driving solicitors at Ashworth Motoring Law

Another new driver avoids licence revocation and keeps driving licence thanks to Ashworth Motoring Law

Licence saved!

If a motorist accumulates 6 penalty points within the first two years of driving, then their driving licence will be revoked by the DVLA under the New Driver Act. The motorist would then have to re-apply for their provisional driving licence and take both parts of their driving test, the theory and practical tests again. With the current delays that many learner drivers are experiencing just to be given a test date, this could spell up to three months off the road. The only way to prevent this from happening is to request a short-term ban in Court as punishment for the offence itself rather than penalty points.

Our latest new driver client was facing this same problem. He was charged with two separate offences and was going to accrue more than 6 penalty points on his driving licence. Having to re-take his practical and theory tests again would have had significant ramifications, including preventing him from being able to take up a crucial career opportunity.

That’s where we came in; we took very detailed evidence from him and began to build our case. Once we could see the basis for a strong argument in Court, we advised our client on the best evidence to support our case.

When the morning of Court came, we had built a strong case and were ready to fight our client’s corner.

A preliminary discussion with the Prosecutor led to one of the charges against our client being dropped due to the defence evidence that had been gained in connection with the charge. This left only one matter for the Court to determine. Following a guilty plea, we made out our client’s case, and emphasised the disastrous consequences that the revocation of his driving licence would have.

We requested a short term disqualification as punishment for the offence itself.

After retiring to consider their verdict, the Magistrates returned to grant our request of a short-term disqualification from driving of just 14 days, and a fine of only £250 – avoiding the maximum fine of £5000.00. Our client was delighted with the result.

When asked what he liked the best about our business, he said:

“You explained everything very well, told me what I needed to do for Court, and supported me through it”.

He made the following comments about his case:

“It was a motoring accident. You negotiated with the Prosecutor and one charge was withdrawn. You made submissions for the other allegation, disqualified for just 14 days. Fined under £250. Without Alison’s help I would have struggled in Court”.

Many new drivers faced with the same situation could have simply given up, and might not have known about the strategies that we use to keep new drivers on the road. This client from Lancashire  is certainly very glad he called us.

If you have been charged with a motoring offence, no matter how big or small we can help you. From drink and drug driving to speeding and totting up, our specialist motoring law solicitors are experts in identifying defences to secure acquittals where possible, and build strong cases in mitigation to secure a desired outcome where necessary. Don’t let a motoring offence way heavy on your mind, call our motoring law helpline on 0330 33 22 770 to speak to an expert motoring lawyer any time, day or night.  Lines are open for free legal advice round the clock so get in touch whenever’s best for you.

New driver keeps driving licence and avoids 6 penalty points

Driving abroad this year? Here’s what you need to know!

Familiarise yourself with the local driving laws and compulsory equipment requirements of your intended destination

Remember that driving laws can differ massively from Country to Country. There can be significant differences in fundamental laws such as drink drive limits and speed limits, not to mention the basic equipment which must be present within the vehicle just to be legal on the road.

Fortunately, the AA have compiled a series of Country specific guides which outline the main legal requirements for driving in any given destination, along with a table displaying the compulsory equipment required for driving in the most popular destinations for British motorists.

Prepare in advance, and take a copy of any relevant driving laws to your destination for reference.

Driving abroad tips

Hiring a car abroad? Generate your driving record in advance

Prior to June  last year, most hire car companies required drivers to show their counterpart driving licence before agreeing to hire a car. However, since the counterpart driving licence was abolished in June last year, this is no longer the case.

Now, hire companies rely on the DVLA’s online “share driving licence service” to view the current status of a driving licence and check for any endorsements such as penalty points. In order for this service to run smoothly once you’re at your destination, there are a few initial steps which must be taken in advance.

Step one: Log onto the DVLA’s “View Driving Licence” service at

Step two: Enter your driver number, postcode and national insurance number

Step two: Generate a unique access code via the “share your driving licence section”

Step three: Make a note of the code and print the PDF summary of the record

Step four: If the car hire company won’t accept the PDF, give them the code. They will then put the code and the last 8 digits of your driver number into the DVLA’s “share driving licence” service to gain an instant summary of your licence.

*** A word of caution***

The single use access code is only valid for 21 days, so to avoid expensive roaming charges once you’re abroad, be sure to generate the code as close to departure as possible.  Although 5 codes can be generated within 24 hours, each code can only be used on 1 occasion.

Found this information useful? Share it with a friend!

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

Alison Ashworth; Expert motoring lawyer and Director of

Ashworth Motoring Law is a national firm of expert motoring lawyers who defend all types of motoring offences. If you would like to discuss your case in confidence with a specialist motoring law solicitor, call our motoring law helpline on 0330 33 22 770 for free initial advice. Lines are open round the clock so get in touch whenever’s best for you.


How to find out how many penalty points are on your driving licence

Penalty point 101 – facts and information about the penalty points system:

Penalty points are the endorsements you get on your driving licence as punishment for committing a minor motoring offence. The penalty point system was put in place as a deterrent to motorists in a bid to encourage better behaviour on the roads. However many now argue that the increase of speed, traffic light and bus lane cameras suggests that the penalty point system has become more of a money making scheme for the government rather than about encouraging better behaviour as Parliament originally intended. Whatever the view, the results of falling fowl of the penalty point system can be drastic.

Incur too many penalty points and it could result in licence revocation (for drivers who accumulate six penalty points within their first two years of passing their practical test) or a six month disqualification from driving for more experienced drivers who reach the dreaded twelve point threshold.

Penalty points remain active (for totting up purposes) on your driving licence for three years.  An application to the DVLA can be made after four years to remove them.

For sentencing purposes, when considering whether a person is going to reach the six point threshold (for new drivers) or the 12 month totting up threshold, it’s important to remember to count from the date of the oldest offence within the three year period to the date of the most recent offence. The date of conviction is inconsequential. All too often I come across motorists who ask me to get their hearing adjourned so that the old points will have dropped off their licence by the time the case gets to Court. This really does not work. It wouldn’t matter if the case was adjourned for ten years; the offences themselves would have still been committed within a three year period and the case would therefore proceed to a totting up/revocation hearing.

How to find out how many penalty points are on your driving licence

Ashworth Motoring Law penalty points and how to find out online how many you have

It’s always useful to know how many penalty points you have on your driving licence. Previously, a person’s paper counterpart held details of how many penalty points they had on their driving licence. That all changed in June 2015 when the counterpart driving licence was abolished.

Now, you can obtain an up-to-date snapshot of exactly how many penalty points are on your driving licence by visiting:  Simply enter your driving licence number, national insurance number and postcode, and the current legal state of your licence will be displayed for you.

You never know, you may need to set that speed limiter or start using the speed camera detection function of your sat-nav once you get your results!

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

Alison Ashworth; Expert motoring lawyer and Director of

Ashworth Motoring Law Ltd are specialists in defending all types of driving offences, and are experts in keeping motorists on the road when they face totting up or new driver revocation issues. If you would like expert advice and guidance regarding your case, call our free motoring law helpline on 0330 33 22 770 to speak to a specialist driving offence solicitor. Lines are open round the clock so get in touch whenever’s best for you. We look forward to taking your call.

Free legal advice in totting up cases from the specialist totting up solicitors at Ashworth Motoring Law


Another client keeps driving licence thanks to Ashworth Motoring Law – Speeding – 6 month Ban avoided!

Totting up too many penalty points on your driving licence is easy to do, but can be a very difficult situation to get out of. 12 penalty points on a driving licence can be disastrous, spelling a 6 months disqualification from driving.

Our latest client found himself in this situation but was able to keep his driving licence thanks to over a month of legal work on his case.

Mr White was represented by Ashworth Motoring Law Ltd, and was represented in Court by Expert Motoring Law Solicitor, Alison Ashworth.

We are proud and humbled by the testimonial which he has provided:

What our totting up client had to say when he kept his driving licence

Speeding – Ban avoided!

“I would definitely recommend Alison to anyone who has motoring offence issues, she built up a strong case which concluded in the avoidance of a ban on the totting up procedure.

My case was based on the fact that I was about to receive a 3 point penalty which would take me to the automatic 12 point totting up total and a potential 6 month loss of my licence.

Alison built up a strong case based on references from my employer, a customer and a family member and the effect a driving ban would have on all parties – her statement to the magistrates definitely persuaded them that a ban would be severely detrimental and I have therefore retained my licence.

Alison was very professional throughout and I am happy with the result.

When asked what he liked the most about our business, he said “personal service and great attention to detail”

S. White from Rossendale.

We are delighted to have been able to help Mr White to keep his driving licence, and are truly proud and humbled by the kind words in his testimonial.

At Ashworth Motoring Law, our specialist totting up solicitors are experts in building and presenting strong cases to persuade the Court to keep drivers on the road when they tot up too many penalty points on their driving licence.

Preparing a totting up case is no easy feat, and to give the best chance of securing a phenomenal outcome, a significant amount of investigative work is required to prepare the groundwork of a successful argument.

If you are facing too many penalty points on your driving licence and need to avoid a totting up disqualification, call our local rate 24/7 motoring law helpline on 0330 33 22 770. You will speak to a specialist totting up solicitor who can advise you on your case, and give you the best chance of keeping your driving licence.

We look forward to hearing from you.

Free legal advice in totting up cases from the specialist totting up solicitors at Ashworth Motoring Law


Ashworth Motoring Law on the Radio

Expert Drug Driving Solicitor, Alison Ashworth of Ashworth Motoring Law will be going live on Chorley FM today at 12:00pm to discuss the Drug Driving Law, and considering why there has been such an increase in the number of arrests for this controversial offence.

If you are still unclear about the Drug Driving Offence which was brought into force one year ago this month and would like to know more, then tune in to Chorley FM  this afternoon or call 0330 33 22 770 any time for free initial advice.

Ashworth Motoring Law Logo

The specialist driving offence solicitors at Ashworth Motoring Law defend all types of Motoring Offences including Drug Driving, Drink Driving, Failure to Provide a Specimen and Speeding. Call our free helpline to find out whether your case is one of the many that can be successfully defended.

Free legal advice for drug driving offences from the specialist drug driving solicitors at Ashworth Motoring Law