Report on Unreliability of Drug Detecting Dogs
The Chicago Tribune has completed a review of three years of data on drug detection dogs used in traffic stops. It finds the dogs were wrong more often than they were right. Only 44% of positive alerts led to the recovery of drugs or paraphernalia. The success rate dropped to 27% for hispanic drivers.
Most courts hold that during a traffic stop, if a properly trained dog alerts, it amounts to probable cause to search the vehicle. The problem seems to be that many of the dogs, and their handlers, are not properly trained. Few states require certification and mandatory training and there is a paucity of "best practices" or even uniform standards. [More...]
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