State v. Morrow

In State v. Morrow, 128 Ariz. 309, 312-13, 625 P.2d 898, 901-02 (1981), a customs officer used his trained narcotics dog to screen luggage at Tucson International Airport. At Morrow's bag, the dog reacted, and a subsequent search revealed the bag contained marijuana. Id. at 311. In upholding Morrow's conviction, our supreme court held that odor emanations are exposed to the public and not subject to Fourth Amendment search and seizure analysis. Id. at 313. "In the case of a dog, superior olfactory senses make it easier to detect certain odors . . . . That does not change the fact that what the dog smells is in the area surrounding the bag and that is not a search of the bag itself." Id. at 313. A dog's sniffing in a place where it is entitled to be is "akin to the 'plain view' doctrine and is in 'plain smell.' The sniffing of the dog is not a search." Id.