January 24 2005

Drug sniffing dogs

First and foremost let me say I am a law abiding citizen. I have never done any illegal drug and never intend to. I do, however, have a live and let live attitude, so if drugs are your thing, more power to you, just don’t mix them with me is all I ask.

So, that being said, this irritates me to no end. The Supreme Court has decided that drug sniffing dogs may be used anytime you are pulled over. They are limited to sniffing the outside of your car, but they can do this without any suspicion of activity.

“The Supreme Court ruled Monday that police can have dogs check out motorists’ vehicles for drugs even if officers have no particular reason to suspect illegal activity.”

Now, I will admit, this probably won’t have a huge effect on me as I haven’t been pulled over in quite a few years. *knocks on wood* And when I have been pulled over, well the reasons have varied. (“Yeah, you ran the red light back there, but I’ll let that slide and just give you a seat belt ticket.” uh-huh…I believed that one) Under this new ruling though, no matter what I am pulled over for the police have the right to have a dog sniff my car because I *might* have something. They aren’t sure, but there is a slim chance I might, so they better check it!

Folks, I can not even begin to describe how angry this makes me. Sure, no one has said there will be mandatory searches, but you just know there are going to be some overzealous police departments with some very worn out dogs. And how much will this end up costing the tax payers? How many innocent people are going to be inconvenienced?

“In a dissent, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg bemoaned what she called the broadening of police search powers, saying the use of drug dogs will make routine traffic stops longer and more adversaries.”

Boy did she hit that one on the head!

Sure this will have to shake itself out, and I am also sure there will be a lot of police departments that never do anything about it, but the mere idea they now have this power is frightening. Law enforcements powers are being straightened every day, and our rights as citizens seem to be eroded away a little bit more each day.

Don’t get me wrong, I still feel this is a great country, but I think we are quickly sliding down a very slippery slope. I do not like the feeling though that I have to constantly be vigilant of every single move I make for fear of someone reporting me for something that was actually innocent. I do not like the idea that if I am to get pulled over that the dog may make a false hit on something on my car (folks seem to forget that drug dogs DO make false hits). As someone who lives inside the law and does everything above board, I do not like the fact I am being treated the same as the crack head who just killed someone for their next score.

The vast majority of the citizens of this country ARE law abiding people, yet it seems like more and more each day that really doesn’t matter awhole lot.

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