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Reading put down as 89 but readings slip shows 90 and 87


New member
Hi there,

I was caught drink driving recently and have a court date appearance. On that appearance letter i was given, the reading for my breath test was put down as 89. However, i have a signed printout from the officer of both my readings at 90 and 87. Does this incorrect submission by the police on the court appearance letter have any bearing on my case?

Kind regards,
The police are required to take two readings from you at the police station and rely on the lower of the two readings. In your case the charge sheet therefore state 87 rather than 89.

In regards to the impact that this error is likely to have on outcome, this is very little. If you plead guilty or are found guilty of the offence, regardless of the reading used (87 or 89), you will fall into the second bracket of the sentencing guidelines. The second bracket stipulates that a person provided a reading between 60 – 89ug, and provides that the person will be liable for a fine and a disqualification of between 17 – 22 months. With either reading you are at the top end of this bracket and therefore your sentence will reflect this.

Raising this issue with the court will mean that the prosecution will almost certainly amend the charge with the leave of the court. This is clearly an administrative error that can be corrected.
It will likely be in your interests to raise this directly with the prosecutor. Whilst it is unlikely to have any material effect on sentencing, it will have an impact on you getting your licence back at the end of the ban. A reading of 87 in breath (where you have no previous related convictions) will mean that you can simply apply for your licence back towards the end of your ban to ensure it is in place in time for the expiry of your ban.

However, a reading in breath of 87.5 or above will categorise you as a high risk offender. This means that you will have to undergo a medical examination with a DVLA appointed medical examiner.

It is certainly in your interest to have the charge amended accordingly.