Drug dogs catch a break E-mail
Written by APB Staff   

Is your drug detection dog actually able to smell narcotics and alert its handlers? According to the U.S. Supreme Court the answer is “not really.”

The Supremes say police do not have to “extensively document” a drug-sniffing dog's reliability in the field to uphold its work in court.

In a much watched case among law enforcement, the high court was unanimous in overturning the Florida Supreme Court's ruling in the case of Aldo, a drug-sniffing police dog.

The lower court threw out drug evidence obtained against Clayton Harris during a 2006 traffic stop. Aldo alerted his officer to drugs used to make methamphetamine inside a truck.

But two months later, Harris was stopped again, Aldo again alerted his officer to the presence of drugs.

But no drugs turned up in the search.

The Florida court said in every case police have to bring records, including a log of performance in the field, to establish the dog's reliability in court.

The Supreme Court said that was placing too much of a burden on law enforcement.

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