Roadside detention and canine sniffs at vehicle stops
In a 2015 case, the Supreme Court of the United States placed limits on the use of roadside detention in order to use conduct a canine sniff of a vehicle.
Rodriguez v. United States, 135 S. Ct. 1609; 191 L. Ed. 2d 492; 2015 U.S. LEXIS 2807; 83 U.S.L.W. 42If an officer makes a stop that is only for a traffic violation, he is not allowed to prolong the roadside detention beyond the period of time necessary to complete the traffic stop in order to allow a dog to sniff the vehicle.
One way the officer can comply: Double-TeamTwo officers present: one runs the dog while the other is the citing officer, conducts the traffic stop, and issues citations.
Another way the officer can comply: *You*re free to leave, but can we keep talking?*After the involuntary detention in connection with the traffic stop is over and the driver knows that he is free to leave, ask consent.
You can still use canines at traffic stops. Just be aware of the limitations.The court in Rodriguez did not rule that police can*t use dogs to sniff cars anymore. In fact, it sent that case back to the lower courts with an instruction for them to determine whether the officer had reasonable suspicion that would support the continued detention while the dog sniffed the vehicle.