brian sloan profile picture

What you should know about the Shelter Rule Defense In Arizona

When someone is driving drunk, they are encouraged to pull over to the side of the road or pull over into a parking lot and sleep off being drunk or find other options. If someone if too drunk to drive, and they cannot find a parking lot or safe place to sleep off being drunk, then the Shelter Rule is an available alternative.

The Shelter Rule was introduced as a nice medium for someone who is too drunk to drive. It was introduced for people who realize they are too drunk to drive. They should not try to drive home faster in order to avoid running into a police officer. The Shelter Rule gave such people the ability to pull over and try to sleep it off. They can do this without being arrested or having to stand trial for a DUI. As long as they continue driving out in the open, the more chances they have to run into a police officer and get arrested for DUI.

When is the Shelter Rule Defense applicable in Phoenix, Arizona?

The Shelter Rule is meant to be a defense for being in actual physical control of a vehicle. It seems obvious that if someone is in a parking lot, or if they are at the side of the road, and are drunk, they have pulled over because they are drunk. They have relinquished control of their vehicle. It may also be obvious that they drove to that place most probably in a drunken state. However, the Shelter Rule is meant to protect those people from being alleged to being in actual physical control of the vehicle.

Factors Juries consider when weighing the Shelter Rule

The factors that are to be considered when weighing the Shelter Rule include whether the vehicle was running and whether the Ignition was in the ‘On’ position, where the Ignition key is located, as well as where and in what condition was the driver found in the vehicle. The following factors will be take into consideration:

  • Was the person asleep?
  • Were the vehicle headlights on?
  • Was the vehicle stopped?
  • Did the driver voluntarily pull off the road?
  • The time of day and weather conditions
  • Was the heat or air conditioning on?
  • Were the windows up or down?
  • Any other explanation of the circumstances as shown by the evidence

Since the weather conditions in Arizona can vary drastically during the day and night, all these factors have to be considered by the jury to come to a decision regarding whether to file charges or not.

Some issues regarding the Shelter Rule Defense

There may be special circumstances which can come up when using Shelter Rule defense. For example, if a driver is following the drunk driver and reports the issue to 911, but in the meantime, the drunk driver pulls into a parking lot and switches off their vehicle, realizing that they are too drunk to drive, there is still a witness who saw the drunk driver driving at some point. It is not clear what the Shelter Rule Defense would say in such a situation.

Best way to utilize the Shelter Rule

Usually, the best way to utilize the Shelter Rule is to get into the passenger seat or the back seat of the vehicle. Remove the keys from the vehicle. Place them not just outside the vehicle but far away from the vehicle. Even if you put them on the roof of the vehicle, that’s alright. However, the prosecutor can always allege that it was still easy access. In case you have heating or air conditioning running, then you should sit in the back seat to protect yourself, at the same time keeping safe from the harsh climate.

To talk to an attorney on how you can use the Shelter Rule Defense, call the Law Offices of Brian D. Sloan at 480-900-0384 for a Free Initial Consultation.

city view

Call me today for an
‘In Depth’ Free Consultation

brian sloan profile picture
Brian Douglas Sloan


aerial view of arizona
Best DUI Lawyer in Phoenix

Why DUI Attorney Brian Douglas Sloan?


19+ Years SOLELY Focused on DUI Defense


4,200+ DUIs Successfully Defended

Top Accolades

  • Only DUI "Power Lawyer" in the Nation Featured in USA Today, 2022

  • Top 10 in Arizona

Top 1%

Top One Percent in the Nation

Superb 10/10

4.9 / 5.0


brian sloan on the cover of attorney at law magazine

“I am one of only a handful of Phoenix DUI Lawyers that focuses solely on DUI Defense representation.”

I have spent my entire career SOLELY focused on Arizona DUI Defense Representation, having personally defended more than 4,400 Driving Under the Influence (DUI) clients in the past 19+ years.

If you’re looking for a Divorce Attorney, Tax Attorney, Civil Attorney, etc., I can comfortably say, "I’m not the one for you." I ONLY defend DUI cases in most of Maricopa County, Arizona.

Coming up with traditional, as well as outside-the-box motions and defenses for my clients, often with good results, is the hallmark of my practice.

Lawyers that say they are "aggressive" or "will fight for you" are a dime a dozen. They use these phrases because it is a proven advertising phrase. Being "aggressive" isn’t the same as being good, and is often used to put on a show to hide the fact that they aren’t doing anything meaningful for the client.

The same is true for the Lawyers claiming to do DUI Defense, and Criminal Cases, and Accident Cases, and Divorces, etc. A Jack-of-all-Trades is a master of none! By handling all sorts of cases, they take away from their ability to truly focus on DUIs, and keep up-to-date on the latest changes in DUI Defense Representation.

What I offer is intelligent, quality DUI Defense at an exceptional price. Unlike many other law firms, if you hire The Law Offices of Brian D. Sloan, you actually get me representing you, doing all the work, and working the case. You aren’t hiring one guy with all the experience, but getting the underling with very little knowledge or experience.

I work seven days a week on my client’s cases, and spend hours laying all my thoughts out for my clients in writing, so they can understand their options, and my recommendations. No other DUI Lawyer in the state does this. I try to do what I can to go above-and-beyond for my clients. I hate when the businesses I deal with nickel-and-dime me with hidden costs, and I take pride in not doing that to my clients.

I have not only taught other lawyers how to do DUI Defense Representation at statewide seminars, but I have produced DUI Legal Guides used by defense lawyers across Arizona.

I am one of Arizona's most award-winning DUI Defense Lawyers, as well as being recognized nationally. I was the only DUI Defense Lawyer in the United States named a "Power Lawyer" in a 2022 issue of USA Today

There are no other private Lawyers in Arizona that have personally defended more DUI cases than I have. And as a bonus, I offer a very reasonable flat rate for my legal services, with a payment plan, and without any hidden charges. This guarantees that I offer some of the most competitive rates among all Arizona DUI Attorneys, while being a well-documented and preeminent leader in the field of DUI Defense Representation.

Over the years, countless people have come to me after discovering that their first lawyer made a mistake, gave them false hope or false promises, or simply took their money and didn't do much to advance their case. And you would be surprised at how often this happens.

So, instead of wasting time and money on the wrong DUI Defense Attorney, do yourself a favor and get the proven and well-recognized best DUI Lawyer in Phoenix and the surrounding areas of Maricopa County.

You can reach me on my personal cell phone at 480-720-7839 for a Free ‘In Depth’ Consultation.

I personally defend DUI cases in urban Maricopa County City, Town, and Justice Courts, including:

Ahwatukee / Agua Fria / Arcadia Biltmore / Avondale / Buckeye / Chandler / Country Meadows / Desert Ridge / Dreamy Draw / Downtown / East Mesa / El Centro / Encanto / Gilbert / Glendale / Goodyear / Guadalupe / Highland / Kyrene / Litchfield Park / Maryvale / McDowell Mountain / Mesa / Moon Valley / North Mesa / Peoria / Phoenix / Queen Creek / San Marcos / San Tan / South Mountain / Scottsdale / Tempe / University Lakes / West McDowell / West Mesa / White Tank

For any other Courts in the State of Arizona, including Felony cases, I would recommend my associates on The Arizona DUI Team, whom I work closely with, but I am not the one personally representing the client.

dui attorney brian sloan headshot

Brian Douglas Sloan

DUI Attorney

Free Initial

small mail icon
Email address:
small location icon
2 N. Central Ave Suite 1929
Phoenix, AZ 85004
triangle pattern