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High Court Rules Dog Sniff During Traffic Stop OK Without Suspicion Of Drugs
Associated Press ^ | 1/24/2005

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 ...

TOPICS: Breaking News; Crime/Corruption; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: billofrights; fourthamendment; greatidea; illegalsearch; policestate; privacy; prohibition; scotus; waronsomedrugs; wodlist; workingdogs; wosd
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To: John Lenin
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 .

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!

481 posted on 01/24/2005 3:03:41 PM PST by pageonetoo (I could name them, but you'll spot their posts soon enough.)
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To: J. Semper Paratus
Well what the heck, let's just abolish the 4th Amendment and be done with it.

No need for a constitutional amendment, let unelected judges do it. That way, nobody can be blamed.

482 posted on 01/24/2005 3:03:43 PM PST by snopercod ( We as the people no longer truly believe in liberty, not as Americans did -- Dayfdd ab Hugh)
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To: HamiltonJay

dittos. Good post. Another sane person at Free Republic.

483 posted on 01/24/2005 3:03:58 PM PST by plain talk
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To: John Lenin

It's your drug war, just don't kill any innocents while you're fighting it. Oh too bad, you already have.

484 posted on 01/24/2005 3:05:17 PM PST by coloradan (Hence, etc.)
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To: pageonetoo

I suggest you run for office and get the laws thrown off the books, I will contribute to your campaign. Good luck, bro.

485 posted on 01/24/2005 3:07:25 PM PST by John Lenin (You have to be a lunatic yourself to appeal to the RAT base)
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To: John Lenin
I suggest you run for office and get the laws thrown off the books, I will contribute to your campaign.

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...

486 posted on 01/24/2005 3:16:09 PM PST by pageonetoo (I could name them, but you'll spot their posts soon enough.)
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To: John Lenin
"After watching 3 friends and one cousin die from drugs and having another family member on disability from them I think I have a right to tell you fools that you are playing with poison."

I don't appreciate being called a fool or being accused of being a drug user. I am neither. And for that matter, I do not advocate the use of illegal drugs. The only thing I've been saying in this thread is that I don't like the way the 4th Amendment is losing more and more of its force, and in the particular post you were responding to I was talking about the problem of selective enforcement of the laws where certain types of people are much more likely to be harassed by police looking for drugs even if they don't use them, and are much more likely to be punished for it if they do use them.
487 posted on 01/24/2005 3:19:29 PM PST by TKDietz
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To: pageonetoo
Whatever, my famous saying to druggie warriors is, 'knock yourself out' ...
488 posted on 01/24/2005 3:19:59 PM PST by John Lenin (You have to be a lunatic yourself to appeal to the RAT base)
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To: Lazamataz; All

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.

489 posted on 01/24/2005 3:22:07 PM PST by longtermmemmory (VOTE!)
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To: All
A creative lawyer would have put the dog that found the drugs on the witness stand for questioning. If it was able to serve in part as an agent against the defendant, the defendant had the right to question witnesses and arresting authority.
Also, there is no such thing as an inconsequential right.
490 posted on 01/24/2005 3:31:10 PM PST by olde north church (I think, therefore iMac.)
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To: Jack Black
Hi Jack Black-

"...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 ~

491 posted on 01/24/2005 3:33:37 PM PST by Blue Jays (Rock Hard, Ride Free)
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To: sinkspur

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.

492 posted on 01/24/2005 3:40:52 PM PST by longtermmemmory (VOTE!)
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To: Individual Rights in NJ

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! ;-)

493 posted on 01/24/2005 3:42:57 PM PST by stands2reason
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To: Blue Jays

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.

494 posted on 01/24/2005 3:51:07 PM PST by longtermmemmory (VOTE!)
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To: John Lenin
Whatever, my famous saying to druggie warriors is, 'knock yourself out' ...


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...!

495 posted on 01/24/2005 3:57:25 PM PST by pageonetoo (I could name them, but you'll spot their posts soon enough.)
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To: John Lenin
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 ...

496 posted on 01/24/2005 4:12:26 PM PST by _Jim (<--- Ann C. and Rush L. speak on gutless Liberals (RealAudio files))
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To: _Jim

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

497 posted on 01/24/2005 4:16:40 PM PST by John Lenin (You have to be a lunatic yourself to appeal to the RAT base)
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To: NJ_gent; Beelzebubba
Hi All-

"...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 ~

498 posted on 01/24/2005 4:26:28 PM PST by Blue Jays (Rock Hard, Ride Free)
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To: Lazamataz
You qualified for a DU thread:

My threads never get one of those :-)

499 posted on 01/24/2005 4:29:04 PM PST by lowbridge
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To: NJ_gent
Then neither would running an x-ray machine over the car or running an infrared scan on the car or doing other such tests which don't physically impact the vehicle... It doesn't inconvenience you in any way if I put a tap on your phone and read your email either. So long as I don't disrupt your telephone service or your email, everything's a-ok, right? Inconvenience isn't the reason we don't allow blanket searches.

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.

500 posted on 01/24/2005 4:34:56 PM PST by bigLusr (Quiquid latine dictum sit altum viditur)
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