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German Police Allegedly Confuse Viagra for Ecstasy in Traffic Stop

During a long legal battle over the accused's drivers license, the pill mysteriously went missing.

by Philipp Kutter
23 August 2016, 9:08am

A routine traffic stop usually follows the same pattern. It starts with a request for your license and registration, then, maybe, an ill-fated question: "have you been drinking?" This could be followed by anything (or everything) from a breathalyzer test to a full-blown search of your vehicle and person—if they have probable cause.

But sometimes normal procedures break down, as a recent strange court case in the German city of Freiburg demonstrates. According to court documents, a German man was pulled over for a run-of-the-mill traffic stop in September of 2015, during which police found .4 grams of hashish on his person and an unspecified half of a purple pill in his pants pocket. Immediately, the officers assumed they had discovered ecstasy. The accused driver, however, claimed that the pill was actually just 100mgs of a generic form of Viagra.

The officers reportedly broke protocol when they failed to test the unknown pill—standard procedure when finding unknown substances—and the man was later ordered to take a neurological evaluation in order to gain further information about his relationship with psychoactive drugs. The man apparently refused the test and had his license suspended as a result.

The story gets better: at the time of the trial in July, the pill was nowhere to be found, and still hadn't been tested to determine its contents. Curiously, the pill had had been destroyed at some point during the lead up to the trial. A police officer testified that his work experience meant he had a practiced eye at classifying pills on sight—nevermind that he'd also testify that he'd never seen a generic Viagra pill in person and that both Viagra pills and ecstasy can come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and doses. After the impending legal saga, the courts eventually ruled to reinstate the man's drivers license. In their official report, they doubted that there had ever been any ecstasy in the pill and that the seized amount of hash wasn't enough to force him to undergo a medical examination.

Now after all is said and done, only one question remains: what the hell was in that half a pill?