Handlers' beliefs influence drug-sniffing dogs' performance - San Francisco Chronicle
The study, published in the January issue of the journal Animal Cognition, found that detection-dog teams erroneously "alerted," or identified a scent, when there was no scent present more than 200 times — particularly when the handler believed that there was scent present.
"It isn't just about how sensitive a dog's nose is or how well-trained a dog is," says Lisa Lit, a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Neurology and the study's lead author. "There are cognitive factors affecting the interaction between a dog and a handler that can impact the dog's performance."
The Florida Supreme Court declined to review an appeals court decision that a Manatee County Circuit judge properly allowed defense attorneys to subpoena the Intoxilyzer 8000’s manufacturer for the code. The high court didn’t give a reason for its Jan. 26 denial, but said it would not reconsider the decision.
Defense attorneys praised the court’s action Monday, saying it puts further pressure on CMI Inc. to turn over the code after years of refusing to do so. Prosecutors and law-enforcement agencies say nothing has changed as a result of the decision, and they will continue to use the machine to arrest and prosecute intoxicated drivers.
A Coral Gables attorney for CMI, based in Owensboro, Ky., did not immediately respond to a telephone call and e-mail seeking comment.