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The Need for Judicial Restriction on the Use of Drug Detecting Canines

By William R. Pomeroy

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The use of drug sniffing dogs to detect smuggled contraband began in September 1970 as a means of interdicting the flow of illegal drugs "through border ports and at major gateways" of this country.' Since then, the use of dogs to detect contraband has been expanded to include such diverse circumstances as schools, domestic airflights, and storage facilities.' The sensitive noses of these dogs have been directed at individuals, luggage,' packages, and vehicles.! This activity has raised constitutional issues implicating the fourth amendment; the resolution of which has divided courts and commentators. The purpose of this comment is to examine these issues, outline the conflicting
positions, and attempt to forecast the direction the courts may take in their effort to bring some harmony to this unsettled (and to some, unsettling) area of law. Few people would attempt to deny law enforcement officials the use of this highly effective and relatively unintrusive law enforcement tool. Yet there are those who fear that the unsettled questions concerning limits on the use of this tool may lead to serious abuse,9 and who raise the specter of unlimited
government intrusion should this type of investigatory activity fall through the constitutional cracks and therefore be deemed exempt from judicial control.


Katie Carroll

Date 1984
Publication Title Akron Law Review
Volume 17
Issue 4
Pages 740-760
Publisher The University of Akron
Language English
Additional Language English
Cite this work

Researchers should cite this work as follows:

  1. Animal roles
  2. Animals in culture
  3. Animal welfare
  4. Detection
  5. Dogs
  6. Drugs
  7. Judicial system
  8. Law and legal issues
  9. Laws and regulations
  10. Mammals
  11. restrictions