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The country’s most high profile traffic lawyer has claimed a new, lower drink drive limit for England has been introduced by stealth.

Nick Freeman, aka Mr Loophole, made the statement after the law was changed in which drivers – who give a breath alcohol reading of 40 to 50 micrograms per 100ml of blood – are no longer offered the option to replace the breath sample with a blood or urine specimen.

The “statutory option”, which had been in situ since 1988, was removed on April 10 this year, because Chris Grayling, the then Justice Secretary, said that the current machines are so accurate a tolerance was no longer required.

Nick Freeman, who represents a string of celebrity clients, said: “Before this law came into effect, drivers giving a breath reading of between 35 and 39ug per 100ml of blood would not face prosecution because of a ‘tolerance’ factor.

“However, as a consequence of Mr Grayling’s ruling, it now follows that motorists should be charged at the statutory limit of 35ug per 100ml of blood.

“This, in effect, means we now have a new, lower drink drive limit that I’m quite confident that neither the police nor the public are aware of.

“Motorists must be alerted to this clandestine reduction in the drink drive limit, because, if they drink alcohol before getting behind the wheel, they must consume less.

“The other question that needs to be asked is how many police forces have now begun prosecuting at this lower level? I bet the answer is none!

“This is nothing short of a disgrace as the left hand doesn’t know what the right hand is doing!”

Mr Freeman added: “For the record we still boast the highest drink drive limit of any EU member state. This needs to be urgently reduced to fall in line with Scotland’s recent ruling and the majority of other EU countries.”