Man on 5 ‘generic' Viagra pills arrested for DUI crash

by: Casey McNerthney Updated:

A man who told police he took five times the recommended dosage of erectile dysfunction medication was arrested for DUI after investigators said he crashed into a Seattle parking garage.

Officers, who did not smell the odor of intoxicants from the man or his vehicle, arrested the Mercer Island man believing he was possibly under the influence of prescription drugs, according to an incident report.

At the hospital, the suspect “made statements to officers about taking a generic version of ‘Viagra,’” according to a police incident report. The 59-year-old Mercer Island man “told officers that he took five pills when the bottle said to only take one.”

Warnings for Viagra say blood pressure can drop to unsafe levels, and there can be rare side effects, including sudden vision loss – and an erection lasting more than four hours.

It's not clear what the man meant when he said "generic" Viagra since there is no official generic of the erectile dysfunction drug. Imposter Viagra is advertised online, and the active ingredient in branded Viagra is also available in the drug Revatio, a hypertension medication that has a lower dose.

Police are waiting for blood test results to determine what was in the man’s system. The incident report does not indicate any other medications.


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The incident happened shortly after 10 p.m. Sunday, a witness called police to say a vehicle hit the side of the parking garage at the northeast corner of Second Avenue and Union Street. The witness told police the man drove over a median and into a wall, then into a garage door.

Officers approached the vehicle and found the man standing by the front. Police say he was vague when asked if he drove the vehicle, but a witness and his son identified him as the driver. Asked if prescription medications had been taken, the man described “some have been taken,” but they didn’t have labels saying not to drive.

The driver told police he was not involved in the collision, “but then would make statements saying, “I didn’t let it clear,’” according to the incident report. His son also told police he didn’t see his father consume alcohol that day, but agreed that he was acting “off,” the report states.

Witnesses told police the man struck the wall three to four times before exiting the vehicle and walking out of the garage stumbling. At one point they told police he fell down and hit his head before getting back in the vehicle and hitting the closed garage door.

Fire department personnel who responded told police the suspect would be going to the hospital because he was “not acting right,” according to the report.

Police obtained a search warrant for the suspect’s blood, which is standard in Washington DUI cases, and that was collected at Harborview Medical Center. The man was booked into King County Jail and released Tuesday morning, records show.

He has pleaded not guilty to a DUI charge filed Monday by the Seattle City Attorney’s office. His next court hearing is August 21, and records show the man was ordered to be on home monitoring while away from his home. The court indicated he could leave for standard conditions: work, school or to meet with a monitoring agency representative to approve daily living activities.


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