United States Supreme Court: Wyoming Still Can’t Extend Traffic Stops

I am behind the times on this, but I wanted to give a quick update on my last post (way back in July 2021!) about the illegality/unconstitutionality of Wyoming law enforcement extending traffic stops beyond the initial purpose of the stop. You can find the original post here.

The State of Wyoming, through the Wyoming Attorney General’s Office, asked the United States Supreme Court to review the Wyoming Supreme Court’s decision in Mahaffy v. State, 2021 WY 63, 486 P.3d 170 (Wyo. 2021), wherein the Wyoming Supreme Court held, once again, that law enforcement violate a person’s rights under the Fourth Amendment if they unnecessarily extend a traffic stop by even “one and a half minutes” to allow for a drug dog to sniff the vehicle without any independent cause to do so. You can read the AG’s full petition below:

On November 15, 2021, the United State Supreme Court summarily denied Wyoming’s request, ending the matter. Consequently, it remains the law of the state of Wyoming: law enforcement simply cannot extend a traffic stop–even for less than 2 minutes!–to accomplish some purpose unrelated to the initial stop.

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