Man arrested for DUI blames 'contact high' on lounge that isn't open



Posted on July 25, 2014 at 5:20 AM

Updated Friday, Jul 25 at 5:32 AM

SPOKANE VALLEY, Wash.-- An 18-year-old arrested for Driving Under the Influence in July told deputies he became impaired by being around other people smoking pot at a Spokane Valley club.  The owner of that club reached out to KREM 2 On Your Side later that week and said his business had not even opened its doors yet.

Authorities arrested 18-year-old Devontay Hood for driving impaired on Saturday. A press release by the Spokane County Sheriff’s Office stated that Hood and two 17-year-old passengers were let into the Members Only Lounge without being carded. Hood told deputies that he received a contact high at the lounge, designed for people with medical marijuana cards.

WATCH: Drivers claim ‘contact high’ as DUI excuse

The owner of the Members Only Lounge, however, said that was not the case. Owner Freddie Miller said he had let patrons in to pre-register for memberships, but did not plan to officially open the lounge until August 8.

“The doors weren’t even open that day,” said Miller. “So it’s hard for us to understand how they were coming from here.”

Miller said he spent the previous months fine tuning his business plan, but never prepared for this. He said the club will have a very strict policy for checking patrons’ ID cards once it opens its doors for business.   

“We’re not a club, we are a lounge,” Miller said. “It’s clean here, there’s a spot for folks with a medical marijuana card. We’ll serve soda, energy drinks.”

In the meantime, Miller said the accusations made against his business are frustrating. He said he put his savings into the business and is running a tight ship.

“That would be a waste of us putting this much time and effort into the facility,” Miller said.

The Spokane County Sheriff’s Office said the driver and his passengers all told the same story that they were let into the lounge, despite being underage. Staff at the Members Only Lounge said that simply is not true. 

“All I can say is they didn’t come from here,” Miller said. “We’ve just worked too hard. We’re not letting our place go down the drain for something like that.”