Each state has enacted its own driving under the influence (DUI) laws and while there are many similarities from state-to-state, there are some nuances. For example, here in Florida, it’s illegal to drive under the influence of alcoholic beverages, a chemical substance like nitrous oxide, and any controlled substance including over-the-counter drugs, such as those formulated for colds, allergies, and sleep.
But what about natural dietary supplements, such as vitamins and herbs? Can you get a DUI if you’re caught driving under the influence of a natural supplement that induces feelings of drowsiness? After all, some of them can make you very drowsy.
Before I answer that, let’s take a look at the common sleep-inducing supplements that can be found at your local Beehive Natural Foods, Apple A Day Natural Food Market, Life Natural Foods, Whole Foods Market, or even Walgreens or Amazon:
- Valerian Root
- Passion Flower
- Ginko Biloba
Let’s say you’re pulled over on suspicion of DUI. The police officer believes you’re under the influence of drugs so he has you take a drug test. Since the above supplements are 100% natural and drug-free, it is unlikely that they would show up on a drug test. However, it is possible that the state would try to argue that the substance can be considered a drug that impairs, especially if the substance is widely known for its sedating effects.
In other states, such as California, it has been found that driving under the influence of certain natural substances, such as Kava, is punishable as driving under the influence of drugs if the substance can impair driving, so it is possible, though rare, that an all-natural sleep aid could be involved in a DUI charge.