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Traffic lawyer Nick Freeman has called the roads minister’s U-turn on reducing the drink drive limit in England as a “car crash without barriers!”

Earlier today it was reported that Andrew Jones MP was looking at reducing the current limit from 80mg to 50mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood, to put it in line with most of Europe, including Scotland.

However, just a few hours later, the Department of Transport said there would be no review and Mr Jones, MP for Harrogate and Knaresborough, said he believed rigorous enforcement and punitive penalties were a better option than changing the legal limit.

Mr Freeman, who is acknowledged to be the country’s leading expert on traffic law, said: “I think Mr Jones has made a massive blunder. His U-turn is quite simply a car crash without barriers.

“In light of his earlier comments, my local newspaper conducted an on-line poll today, and more than 80 per cent who participated said they were in favour of a reduction in the legal limit. What is he scared of?

“The drink drive limit in England and Wales is one of the highest in Europe and should be reduced to put it in line with Scotland, which lowered its drink drive limit more than a year ago.

“It is 50mg for a very good reason as the current 80mg level increases the chances of a driver having an accident by four-fold.

“If it is lowered, which it needs to be, our roads will be safer and lives will be saved.

“We need to remove excessive alcoholic consumption from the driving equation.”