Dogs trained to detect the presence of illegal drugs are most likely to provide false alerts in situations involving the search of a motor vehicle, according to the findings of a study published online in the journal Forensic Science International. In situations where dogs accessed the perimeter of a motor vehicle, the animals accurately alerted to the presence contraband only 64 percent of the time. Twenty-two percent of the time the dogs indicated that illegal drugs were present when they were not. Drug dogs’ failure rates were even more pronounced in situations where the animals had access to the inside of a vehicle. In this scenario, dogs correctly responded to the presence of contraband only 58 percent of time. They provided false alerts 36 percent of time.
The scare stories continue to pop up, like this one: Deadly collisions with ties to marijuana use have tripled, study shows (they originally had an even more offensively false headline: “Marijuana legalization leading to fatal car crashes, study shows,” but chose to tone it down to this merely inflammatory inference).
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