New meth law could help offset costs of battling drugs - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

New meth law could help offset costs of battling drugs

MARION, IL (KFVS) -

The next time someone gets caught making methamphetamine in Illinois it could cost them more than just court costs, and bond money.

On August 18, Illinois Governor Pat Quinn signed House Bill 1258 into law.

The new law will now add fine on top of other related costs to anyone who is charged with making drugs.

The additional funds will be shared by various government agencies, police and emergency responders.

Marion's Fire Chief Jack Reed says it cost on average $2,000 for his department to respond to a house fire. And even more when where drugs are being made.

"When we find what we believe to be a fire as a result of an active methamphetamine lab we have to take added precautions, where we still have the precursors and methamphetamine waste. There's a lot of dangerous chemicals there that we need to deal with," said Chief Reed.

The City of Marion is also stepping into the fight against drug makers by condemning any property, or vehicle where meth making is taking place.

"There is an embargo and quarantine of the property until everything is identified. And it has been cleaned up from the methamphetamine waste."

Chief Reed says there is another danger from meth makers out there that he and his firefighters are also having to deal with these days.

"A few years ago we would go to a dumpster fire and not be concerned about what caused the fire. Now we have to take greater precautions because that fire may in fact have been caused by someone dumping methamphetamine waste into the dumpster," Chief Reed said.

"It does cost to provide the protection. So anything we can recoup from those type situations would be very beneficial."

The new law goes into effect on February 1, 2012.

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