Drugs Bill Would Have Innkeepers Keep Tabs On Guests

Neall Urges Action On Hotel-based Dealers

September 16, 1991|By Paul Shread | Paul Shread,Staff writer

County police want to enlist innkeepers in the war on drugs.

Under a bill proposed by County Executive Robert R. Neall, hotels would be required to keep detailed records of guests. Police hope the information will help them catch drug dealers who operate out of area hotels.

The County Council will conduct a public hearing on the bill tonight.

Tom Negri, manager of the Loews Annapolis Hotel and presidentof the Annapolis and Anne Arundel County Conference and Visitors Bureau, said innkeepers have some problems with the bill but said they can be worked out.

"We understand the county's position," Negri said. "We will propose changes that will address our concerns."

Negriwouldn't specify the innkeepers' concerns, but Gail Watson, an assistant county attorney who helped draft the bill, said the innkeepers were worried about liability if they helped police arrestclients.

Watson said other jurisdictions in the area have similar laws.

The bill would require innkeepers to post the law in a prominent place, which Watson said hotels didn't want to do. "I can see what the hotelsare saying, but people should be aware of the law," she said.

Thebill would require innkeepers to keep records of the dates

and times of guests' arrival and checkout, their room number, address and license plate number and state. It would require them to give that information to police on request and to keep records of the information for three years.

In other action tonight, the County Council will conduct public hearings on:

* A bill proposed by Councilman GeorgeBachman, D-Linthi

cum, to regulate massage parlors.

Bachman said he expects a large turnout of opponents and proponents at the hearing. Members of the American Massage Therapists Association plan to introduce amendments to make the bill stronger, he said.

The bill was prompted by controversy over two North County massage parlors where police saw female masseuses manually stimulating male clients. Because masturbation is not covered under solicitation laws, police couldnot take action.

Though both massage parlors have been closed forzoning violations, Bachman is worried that other massage operators will take advantage of the loophole in the solicitation law.

Bachman's bill would require massage establishments, managers and technicians that fall under the proposed legislation to be licensed by the Department of Inspections and Permits.

It would make it illegal for masseuses to work on members of the opposite sex or to touch "erogenous areas," specifically the breasts, genitals and anal area, and wouldrequire clients to cover these parts of the body during the massage.

The legislation also requires masseuses and managers of massage operations to have at least 100 hours of training from a nationally recognized institution. Staff members would have to be at least 18 and submit to medical and criminal background checks.

It exempts medical professionals.

* A bill proposed by Bachman that would prevent mobile home park owners from charging tenants retroactive security deposits.

Mobile home owners have been unhappy since three trailer parks began charging security deposits, even for long-term residents.

Bachman's bill would protect longtime residents in the county's 26trailer parks.

The meeting begins at 7:30 in the Arundel Center in Annapolis.

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