Virginia State Police troopers stopped Christie Ann Smith on suspicion of driving under the influence Monday night after she was driving her Chrysler hatchback erratically. After she was stopped, the police found a mobile meth lab in the 39-year-old’s vehicle.
"According to the officer, Smith was cooking meth as she was driving down the road," Virginia State Police Sgt. Kevin Barrick told WVEC. "It's considered a one-person lab."
Smith 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.
According to Virginia State Police Lt. Jason Robinson, mobile meth labs are becoming more common.
“As meth labs increase, so do mobile meth labs,” Robinson told WAVY. “You have the danger of explosives, and some of the gases associated with meth labs are dangerous. They’re not safe for you to inhale. There’s ammonia gas, hydroch acid gas and you also have the fire danger.”
In 2013, 38 mobile meth labs were discovered in Virginia, up from 28 in 2012.
“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,” Robinson said. “We’ve had explosions and fires here in Virginia, but all the ones I’m aware of happened in residences.”