Skip to comments.High Court Rules Dog Sniff During Traffic Stop OK Without Suspicion Of Drugs
Posted on 01/24/2005 9:20:02 AM PST by Lazamataz
The Supreme Court gave police broader search powers Monday during traffic stops, ruling that drug-sniffing dogs can be used to check out motorists even if officers have no reason to suspect they may be carrying narcotics.
In a 6-2 decision, the court sided with Illinois police who stopped Roy Caballes in 1998 along Interstate 80 for driving 6 miles over the speed limit. Although Caballes lawfully produced his driver's license, troopers brought over a drug dog after Caballes seemed nervous.
Caballes argued the Fourth Amendment protects motorists from searches such as dog sniffing, but Justice John Paul Stevens disagreed, reasoning that the privacy intrusion was minimal.
"The dog sniff was performed on the exterior of respondent's car while he was lawfully seized for a traffic violation. Any intrusion on respondent's privacy expectations does not rise to the level of a constitutionally cognizable infringement," Stevens wrote.
In a dissent, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg bemoaned what she called the broadening of police search powers, saying the use of drug dogs will make routine traffic stops more "adversarial." She was joined in her dissent in part by Justice David H. Souter.
(Excerpt) Read more at sfgate.com ...
makes about as much sense, now doesn't it?
Or grease the powers that be so they just harass the competition.
A lot more people have been killed by over-reaching governments than by all illegal drugs combined.
Not what you call an inspirational comparison.
You're not even in the game! You must really be desperate after that slam by Laz!!! That was a three-pointer!
Say 'Baaaaaahhhh', CBG.
The message is simple, don't carry quanities of drugs with you while you are in your car. Knock yourself out, tons of idiots do everyday with drugs.
ClintonBeGone will do it, too.
Ever ready to be a good tovarich, da?
What you said.
Somewhat agree. I was stopped by Atlanta police once in college for going through a red light - the light was yellow and the car in front of me panicked because it saw a police car at the intersection, slowed down and left me in the middle of the intersection as the light turned red.
Anyway, the cop actually made me get out of the car, patted me down for weapons and made me sit in the back of his cruiser while he wrote me a ticket. At that time I was a nerdy looking, white-bread college student in a suit coming back from an interview that weighed about 140 lbs so I hardly fit a profile. I got the last laugh though as I contested it in court and he was 5 minutes late so he wasn't there to contest the charge when I plead not-guilty.
Got pulled over once between Atlanta and Athens for speeding - I passed a police car since I had turned on the wrong road and thought the speed limit was 65 rather than 55. I insisted to the officer that he was wrong about the speed limit but when then he realized I was confused about which highway I was on. He was cool about - laughed and gave me a warning.
I thought about sending an email to sheriff's department letting them know about how polite and understanding the officer had been, but I figured it would just get him in trouble for not writing me a ticket.
I haven't noticed you here before, but I like your argument style.
What is wrong with these people?
Ruling classes rule the masses.
More folk have been damaged by alcohol and killed, than by the rest of all drugdom.
Your calling people by names, and trying to be cute with your phrasing, is not scoring points. Your "feelings" are worthless, in the face of simple logic. Unfortunately, all through life, there are those that wish to control the lives of others. You seem to be one of them... Read your constitution, and bone up on the source wisdom of our country! When you have some wisdom to share, let us know. In the meantime...
If you don't want to take a hit, pass the joint... just quit letting it go out (and quit your whining)!
It is far easier to teach a dog to "alert" on command than to train it to "alert" upon discovery of any particular substance or odor.
I used to run around the neighborhood with toy guns, and have snowball fights when I was a kid. I believe both are illegal now.
Here in WNC, we don't lock our homes or our cars. We can leave $700 in cash, a digital camera, and a handgun on the front seat while we go in to the post office and nobody will take it (I have really done that).
When somebody dies, 1000 people turn out for the funeral - in a small town. When a funeral procession goes by, the cars on the opposite side of the road pull over and stop out of respect.
If your car breaks down or you have a flat, you won't have to wait more than five minutes before somebody will stop and help you.
And best of all, we can shoot game and pee off our back decks (not simultaneously, usually).
I'm no going to name names for you, just shows how deluded you are from drugs that you would call me a liar and make yourself look like an even bigger fool .
How did he call you a liar? He just said that a little hemp didn't kill your friends, poor judgment did.
It may have been hyperbole, but there should be little dispute that you don't get "there" (East Germany) without first going through "here" (allowing cops growing powers to detain, inspect, and search, based on minimal motivation other than that they feel like it.)
A minimal speeding offense has zero relation to public safety, so is a mere pretext. A drug dog alerting is an opportunity for error, deception, and fraud. Cops have drugs to smear on the car to cause the dog to alert, can trigger an alert when there are no dogs, and can plant drugs (though not 250 pounds as in this case.)
Remember when cops were like him...
Now, this is all they want to do...
It's your life, learn the hardway, just don't kill anyone while you are high.
All joking aside, the ruling had a lot to do with what is called "plain view" search. The molecules and atoms that the dog can smell are in 'plain view' to the dog. This ruling had to go this way or the chemical sniffers that the US Gov antiterrorist folks are implementing across the US would also be inadmissable in court against the bad dudes with large or small explosive devices and radiological weapons.
That's why the Conservative majority went this way. They are protecting our collective right of self defense against attackers.
If a dog alerts on your vehicle and it is searched, contraband MUST be found for any arrest to be made. Drug dust on money is insuffient as it does not represent a measurable amount for an arrest to be made.
I do agree that rights are historically lost when we need to become 'safer'... and this may represent such a loss.
That's bizarre - when did I say that I use drugs? I don't own a gun but I'm sure in favor of gun rights.
Seriously, you might be a little too emotional about this topic to think about it logically. That's understandable since you did lose some people close to you - it's the same thing that the Mothers Against Drunk Driving go through. Maybe you should take some time off and take a step back later and examine the bigger issues.
Well, actually, that's the only difference I really have here. I agree that giving cops too much leeway encourages abuse. Or at least, with any power there will always be some abuse. Traffic cameras are of more concern to me than stopping for a traffic violation because EVERYONE is being watched.
But I would differ with you on the "here" to "there" argument. I don't think they are related. The power of the police state is not grassroots. By that I mean that giving cops ultimate police powers will not actually precipitate a police state on its own.
Yikes! Hold on. Don't flame me yet!
The state encroaches on rights gradually (boiling frog.) The people react periodically in backlashes (see Ahhnold.)
As long as they have an outlet on top (play one party against the other to balance power) then there's always a method to have the creeping progress of the State's Power rolled back in one fell swoop.
I worry about the parties molding into one, at which point, it may be all over. Meanwhile, I like to see arbitrary tax cuts defund the various departments...taking some of their oxygen and making them grow slower than I do.
What I have learned is this, I fought the law and the law won. Knock yourself out, see if I care.
Now then, without drooling, let me pose it in proper english, with punctuation..."I'm not going to name names for you. That just shows how deluded you are from drugs, that you would call me a liar, and make yourself look like an even bigger fool."
I commented on your frequent outbursts where you use a reference to someone's use of drugs as your excuse for a post. I did not call you a liar. However, the Bible clearly calls you down for that "fool" thing (Matthew 5:22).
I want some of what you must be smoking, because you seem to really be out there!
No need for a constitutional amendment, let unelected judges do it. That way, nobody can be blamed.
dittos. Good post. Another sane person at Free Republic.
It's your drug war, just don't kill any innocents while you're fighting it. Oh too bad, you already have.
I suggest you run for office and get the laws thrown off the books, I will contribute to your campaign. Good luck, bro.
I take Visa and American Express!
I do actively seek to change the laws, but not by running for office. I have spent many $$$ to support "Law and Order" candidates, but do not want to diminish my income.
I am sorry your kin and friends died, but I didn't do it, nor did the drugs... they did it to themselves. You should make sure the rest of your friends and family don't wind up the same way.
Your feelings do not make your arguments more worthwhile. Only facts work there!
If you believe the WOD is all about drugs, I have a bridge I am trying to sell...
I would urge every one on FR to consider doing the ride along with police. I suspect there is more to this case than just a "nervous" driver. (Dare I say profile?)
It has long been the case law to allow for the calling of a police dog. That part is not new. The issue is the sniff outside the car.
Also keep in mind this is the same court that said police can not use technology to "see" into houses without first obtaining a warrent. (just b/c tech advances does not mean police can bypass laws)
Anyways, do the ride along it will confirm both bad and good.
"...They have gunpowder sniffing dogs. When they start using those more Freepers will be inconvenienced..."
Excellent post. As a person who has never smoked a cigarette, nevermind used an illegal drug, this latest ruling to allow police dogs to sniff vehicles for illicit drugs is truly unfortunate and I stand against it. While it's a trite saying, "The frog never notices as long as the water is boiled s-l-o-w-l-y."
Your suggestion about firearms/gunpowder dogs is potentially even more frightening. Millions of law-abiding people involved in the shooting sports could be rendered "of criminal interest" in many jurisdictions virtually overnight. A brief traffic stop that could previously be amicably resolved with minimal hassle could involve a phalanx of officers and their associated "specialty" dogs in the near future.
To make it easier on everyone, why don't we just have a universal command for all police dogs...if anyone does anything that anyone wants to identify as possibly illegal, the dog should merely have to SIT. Many family pets could then be eligible for employment, as most learn that
trick sophisticated investigative technique early in their canine lives. It would also significantly reduce dog training costs and speed their deployment to the field.
The moronic chorus of "If you've done nothing wrong you've nothing to fear!" from the bootlickers in regard to this kind of intrusion really makes me angry...
~ Blue Jays ~
actually most DUI lawyers will tell you that you should refuse EVERYTHING when stopped for a DUI. An administrative suspension for a refusal is far easier to fight than a DUI with no evidence.
The horozontal gaze nystagmus test is routinely excluded in FL because of old case law which found it to be far too manipulated and far too unreliable. (prosecutor friends advised on that bit of data during a night out listening to their complaining on how tough DUI cases have been to prove.)
Once officer had a defendant pulled over, had the defendant perform the roadsides and then advised the defendant they were drunk and under arrest. The defendant blew sober and the officer was exposed as falsifying a police report. (it did not help that he had pulled over a small city police chief whose city escapes me right now)
The intoxilyzer machines have also been fraught with deficiencies. In miami, a freshly painted testing room cause the machine to give false positives, the machines were exposed as having a air-blank test routine which was hard wired to read "0.0" (which is to calibrate the machine as empty and ready to test the next person) thus air samples were never really cleared out.
The REAL evidence which convicts a person is the video tape. If the person is pulled over and is falling down drunk, they may perform the roadsides, they may even blow a 0.07 (which is 0.01 short of legal presumption impaired) but the tape is the best convictor. It is also the best exonorator in the face of all other evidence.
HOWEVER, DUI arrests are not the same as the dog sniff test. The dog is a piece of special equiptment brought to test the air around a vehicle. It would not take much for an officer to train his dog to give a "positive on command".
Why not just extend implied consent on the back of a license to search all motor vehicles and just do away with the fourth amendment formally.
Remember, acting "nervous" is probable cause. Because you should never be nervous being investigated by the police unless you're GUILTY GUILTY GUILTY!!! Not even when you think about the injustices inflicted on innocent people over the years by the government! That shouldn't make you nervous at all! ;-)
what is amazing is that the dog handler is the only one who "knows" what is positive.
If the stop fits the "profile" a positive is inevitable. (and police read miranda each and every time)
Whe have had police use "drop guns" why not drop paraphanalia or pot. Particularly when the person is being difficult by asserting consitutional rights.
Of course the real solution is to have the entire stop taped without interuption and no turning off of the tape machine or mics.
Fellow Freeper, I doubt you are any more famous than I! Your sentiment certainly isn't original, nor particularly funny! Top that off with an attitude of apparent agreement with these erosions of your liberty, you should go ahead and give up everything you own to your gum't. They never do wrong...!
Whatever, my famous saying to druggie warriors is, 'knock yourself out' ...Uhhh ... shouldn't that be the other way around (literally, Druggies: "knock yourself out")?
Just a minor point of logical order in amongst the usual tirades ...
There is a funny story about that saying, I had a girlfriend that was taking valium for ulcers and I had a toothache and asked her what she had that I could take for the toothache, she threw me the bottle of valiums and said, go ahead, knock yourself out. lol
"...I get nervous when I have a cop behind me, regardless of how well I generally drive and the fact that I've never been pulled over for doing anything wrong or harrassed by a cop in any way..."
Being jittery is absolutely normal behavior. When one considers the financial penalties (we're talking THOUSANDS of dollars, folks...) that can be imposed upon drivers by insurance companies via premium surcharges for a "mover" violation...that is cause for nervousness. As an aside, it doesn't matter if one has been driving thirty years without any mistakes. A single speeding ticket will ultimately cost you BIG bucks.
Toss a sniffing police dog (who is rewarded for certain behavior) into the mix and see how some sweat forms on a driver's forehead.
~ Blue Jays ~
My threads never get one of those :-)
There were two tests here for determining that the sniff was constitutional. One was the level of inconvenience that the suspect would have to endure (the fear that it'll let cops put suspects "through hell on a hunch").
The second was the amount of private information that could be gleaned from the process alone. X-rays, infrared scans, phone taps, etc, would all allow officers to learn more than whether or not someone has done something illegal. (This is why I came out against collecting the DNA of all arrestees in this thread. Someone in that thread pointed out that the inconvenience is minor, but I still found it abhorrent because the information gathered from a DNA sample goes far beyond whether or not someone is breaking the law. This ruling addresses both issues.) No proper reading of this ruling would allow the use of any of the other methods you listed without a warrant.
If you can search everything, then search everything.
You can't search everything. You can search smells... And not even all smells... since the court wouldn't have allowed the search if the dog was let into the man's car, you're just talking about smells that drift into the public... and you're not even allowed to do anything with those smells except determine whether there's an illegal substance present. If the dog sniff could let the officer know the guy's shopping list in addition to the location of the large stash of illegal contraband this guy was carrying, then the search, like the thermal imaging scans in Kyllo, would have been unconstitutional.
The only 'cause' mentioned was that the suspect appeared to be acting 'nervous' - whatever that means.
You haven't read the ruling... or at least not the footnotes. Caballes acted nervous, his car smelled of air freshener, and he said he was moving but only seemed to have a couple sports jackets in the car. Now... that wasn't probable cause. Nobody claims that was probable cause. If the officers thought those actions gave them probable cause they would have opened the trunk without first bringing out the drug dog.
But the court found that even without the "vague hunch" they got from Caballes' actions, the police were justified because the dog sniff did not invade Caballes' privacy.
Now, if you actually knew of scientific evidence that the drug dogs will react to Puperoni treats in addition to illegal substances, you might have a privacy case.