The Supreme Court ruled Tuesday on the unconstitutionality of police detaining drivers at a traffic stop and making them wait for drug-sniffing dogs without “clear suspicion.” This is a clarification from a previous ruling in which “probable cause” was listed as any visual, aromatic or audible indicator of illegal activity.
What “clear suspicion” means for citizens is that if you are well educated in the proper conduct at a routine traffic stop, you can maintain your rights to the fullest degree. You are allowed to record all interactions on video. You are allowed to call a lawyer/guardian and speak no further until their arrival. You may – upon clear verbal discourse as to why the stop has occurred – infer a lack of “clear suspicion,” and verbally announce to the officer that you are acting under legal right of the fourth amendment to the Constitution by rolling up your window, buckling into the seat and rolling out of the stop at a safe speed.
If an officer attempts to detain further, you are fully within your rights to cite not only this ruling, but the current federal investigation of police brutality and use of force, and again, prepare to leave.
The real important part here is maintaining calm and being prepared. Driving under the proper conditions should be a no-brainer. We know it can be difficult or we as individuals may say “eh I’m alright. I can drive. Yadda yadda yadda.” But in truth, you’re only giving the police more reason to hound and harass you.
Drive safely. Be aware. And know your rights.