Tribune analysis: Drug-sniffing dogs in traffic stops often wrong

High number of fruitless searches of Hispanics’ vehicles cited as evidence of bias

January 06, 2011 | By Dan Hinkel and Joe Mahr, Tribune reporters, Keri Wiginton, Chicago Tribune

Drug-sniffing dogs can give police probable cause to root through cars by the roadside, but state data show the dogs have been wrong more often than they have been right about whether vehicles contain drugs or paraphernalia.

The dogs are trained to dig or sit when they smell drugs, which triggers automobile searches. But a Tribune analysis of three years of data for suburban departments found that only 44 percent of those alerts by the dogs led to the discovery of drugs or paraphernalia.

For Hispanic drivers, the success rate was just 27 percent.

via Tribune analysis: Drug-sniffing dogs in traffic stops often wrong – Chicago Tribune.


  1. thank you for the post. I was really astonished on hearing about the special drugs which are using in dogs to control them!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Hope it will help police men to find out theft…….

    Good post

  2. Seems like it’s the officers judgement that failes as much as the dogs. Shouldn’t probable cause be just that, probable. I wonder if the officer will get any type of repriemand if they do this to often without result, or if it’s just busniess as usual.