Meth Labs continue to pop up across Houston County. Captain Antonio Gonzalez with the sheriff's office said deputies can come across at least 24 meth labs in a month.
Gonzalez said the labs are a health risk and cost thousands to clean up. If the laboratory was inside a rented property the cleanup costs falls on the property owner.
State Representative Lynn Greer, R-Rogersville is pushing to change the currents laws. Greer has pre-filed House Bill 20. Under the current bill a person operating a meth lab in a rented property would receive an additional five years in prison without parole. The person would also be responsible for all costs associated with the cleanup.
Greer is pushing the law after a meth lab destroyed an apartment in one of the complexes he owns in North Alabama. Greer spent $18,000 out of pocket to cover the damage, while the people operating the meth lab didn't pay a dime.
"This lady and her boyfriend didn't even get a ride in the police car. The Alabama law is so weak that you can apparently trespass, rent an apartment, motel room or house and cook meth and get away with it," said Greer.
Gonzalez said stricter penalties are needed, but this bill isn't the answer. "Look at our track record for restitution in this country where people are victimized. It may be years before they get a penny that's just the system," explained Gonzalez.
Greer will present this bill in February when the 2013 legislative session begins.