YORK COUNTY, Va. (WAVY) – A Maryland woman is facing several charges after troopers say they found a mobile methamphetamine lab during a suspect DUI traffic stop in York County Monday night.
Sgt. Michelle Anaya with the Virginia State Police said troopers spotted a 2005 Chrysler traveling erratically in the eastbound lanes of Interstate 64 around 8:30 p.m. During a traffic stop near the Lightfoot Exit, troopers noticed the driver under the influence and the mobile meth lab was found in the vehicle compartment.
York County’s HazMat crew was dispatched to the scene to contain the lab.
The driver, Christie Ann Smith, 39, was arrested and charged with driving under the influence of drugs, two counts possession of a controlled substance, false identity, no valid operator’s license, driving while suspended and manufacturing methamphetamine.
While most meth labs are housed in residences, Virginia State Police Lieutenant told WAVY.com mobile meth labs are increasing: “As meth labs increase, so do mobile meth labs.”
In 2012, 28 mobile meth labs were discovered in Virginia. In 2013, that number jumped to 38. Robinson said the increase is simply because meth is increasing in popularity. And with the drug more prevalent, the danger associated with it is more prevalent.
“You have the danger of explosives, and some of the gases associated with meth labs are dangerous,” Robinson said. “They’re not safe for you to inhale. There’s ammonia gas, hydroch acid gas and you also have the fire danger.”
And transporting the illegal drugs while they are still in the cooking process only increases the risk involved.
“There’s the risk of an explosion or fire. I know there’s been incidents of that in other states where people driving in cars have the meth lab explode in the car,” he said. “We’ve had explosions and fires here in Virginia, but all the ones I’m aware of happened in residences.”
For more information about meth, the side effects and risks involved and what you can do if you think someone you know is using, check out the www.themethproject.org.