Huntsville, AL (WAFF) - With Thursday's announcement that five people were arrested at a South Parkway hotel and charged with making meth, a lot of you may be wondering - how can I tell if my hotel room used to be a meth lab?
Right now, there are no laws in Alabama regarding the cleanup of homes, businesses or vehicles where meth labs were found. According to Captain Karl Youngblood of the Alabama Bureau of Investigations, Alabama does not have funding to cover the cost of meth lab cleanup.
In 2012, legislators introduced a bill that would stipulate the Alabama Department of Public Health, Public Safety and Homeland Security as being responsible for declaring meth lab locations as not being suitable for future occupancy. But, the bill failed to include cleanup and testing procedures. It ended up being shelved for the year, never coming up for a vote anyway.
For the most part, you're on your own determining if your hotel room was formerly a meth lab. In many cases, even hotel owners aren't aware that their rooms were used. Many meth cooks can set up, make their drug, then leave in a matter of hours. However, the lingering effects of the meth making process are still there.
Some signs to watch out for :
Skin or eye irritation
A noxious, bitter smell, often similar to ammonia.
The Drug Enforcement Agency has a list of reported meth lab locations posted on their website, but the agency warns that their information is limited, and far from complete. However, it's a good first step to use.
The D.E.A. warns that motel meth labs aren't limited to low-rent rooms. In fact, they say many meth makers have the money to afford high-end suites, and use them since they're less suspicious than the traditional roach-trap associated with illicit activity.
Once you're checked in, there are several signs that your neighbor may be using a nearby room to make meth. There's a list of signs available on the Mesa County, Arizona Sheriff's Department website that you should keep in mind. Safety is key. Law enforcement agencies say if you suspect someone is making meth - do not confront them or go near the room. Contact police instead.