CrimProf Blog

Editor: Kevin Cole
Univ. of San Diego School of Law

Thursday, October 22, 2020

Carroll on Weed, Dogs & Traffic Stops

Alex Carroll (University of Arkansas School of Law) has posted Weed, Dogs & Traffic Stops (Wyoming Law Review, Forthcoming) on SSRN. Here is the abstract:
 
The Supreme Court has long characterized a dog sniff as a binary investigative technique. For nearly four decades, the Court has held that a dog sniff conducted during a routine traffic stop is not a Fourth Amendment “search” because it reveals only the location of an illegal substance. Marijuana, however, is now legal in thirty-four states. Accordingly, this Article closely reexamines the Fourth Amendment’s treatment of dog sniffs.

In doing so, it makes three overarching arguments. First, a dog sniff conducted during a routine traffic stop is a nonbinary type of investigative technique in states that have legalized recreational or medicinal marijuana. Second, a dog sniff conducted during a routine traffic stop is a Fourth Amendment “search” in those same states. Third, law enforcement agencies operating in those states must retrain or replace their drug-detection dogs.


Moving forward, the Article further demonstrates, law enforcement agencies will encounter significant challenges associated with retraining or replacing their drug-detection dogs. It therefore concludes by providing law enforcement agencies with ways to mitigate those challenges. At its core, this Article offers the judiciary and law enforcement profession with a constitutional path forward.

https://lawprofessors.typepad.com/crimprof_blog/2020/10/carroll-on-weed-dogs-traffic-stops.html

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