Male driver refuses breath test due to impotence drug
4th August 2010
A DRIVER told police he was unable to carry out a breath test — because of side effects from a Viagra-style pill he had taken. Neil Macdonald was stopped by police while behind the wheel of his Volkswagen Golf in Sinclair Street, Greenock, just after 8.25am under suspicion of driving while unfit through drink or drugs. He was taken to Greenock Police Station to provide two samples, but failed to blow into the machine. Macdonald claimed he was breathless because of the anti-impotency tablet he had taken 90 minutes before. Macdonald denied failing to provide police with two specimens of breath for analysis on 12 December but was convicted after a trial at Greenock Sheriff Court last week. Macdonald claimed he had taken Levitra, an anti-impotence drug prescribed to him by his doctor, at 7am. Medical evidence provided by his defence team suggested Macdonald was telling the truth when claiming he was unable to blow hard enough into the machine to give a reading. A report from Doctor Paul Skett said shortness of breath was a well-known side effect of the drug. The court heard the 43-year-old, while in custody, had also asked officers if water he had drunk from the toilet would affect his alcohol reading. After being asked to blow into the police testing equipment, the court heard Macdonald began to wheeze and cough, claiming the Levitra had left him too breathless to provide a sample. After a two-hour trial, Macdonald was convicted by Sheriff Rajni Swanney, who said she was unimpressed by the accused’s claims. Macdonald, of Clydeshore Road, Dumbarton, had sentence deferred until later this week.