The United States Supreme Court made a landmark ruling yesterday that prohibits police officers for holding citizens in custody while waiting for a drug dog to arrive at a standard traffic stop.
Judging a case titled Rodriguez vs. U.S., the court ruled that as long as the crime isn’t clearly drug-related (like speeding or making an illegal turn), cops can’t keep an innocent citizen around simply based on suspicion.
In Rodriguez’s case, he was driving on the shoulder when a police officer pulled him over. That police officer didn’t like how Rodriguez looked, so he then called in a drug-sniffing dog which arrived ten minutes later and sniffed out a little bit of methamphetamine.
But Rodriguez wasn’t a drug mule and he certainly wasn’t committing any crime by driving a tad erratically. Thus, Supreme Court ruled 6-3 in favor of Rodriguez, and dogs all over the nation can no longer be called to sniff drugs out of cars without just cause.
With the need for weed-sniffing dogs subsiding, perhaps dogs can go back to doing what they do best: taking naps and chewing bones.