brian sloan profile picture

Why Does Law Enforcement Disregard the Shelter Rule?

Interviewer: Do officers typically find them while they’re asleep and wake them up?

If they’re going to get arrested or charged for DUI, what is the process? 

Brian: Unfortunately, people are getting arrested and in a way, they’re getting hassled for doing the right thing.  Usually an officer will come upon a vehicle sitting by itself in a parking lot or a vehicle parked on the side of the road.  Sometimes they will be in restaurant parking lots.

I’m dealing with a case right now where I was able to get video footage of about two and a half hours where my client sat in his vehicle for those two and a half hours and did not move.  Unfortunately, he had to go through arrest.

He is currently being charged and they’re alleging that he was driving under the influence, but we have video evidence of him sitting in a parking lot for two and a half hours.  This is a person who relinquished control and was not planning on driving.  He did the right thing, but he’s still becoming a victim of the system.

Sometimes, It Is Not Readily Apparent that a Driver Has Relinquished Driving to Allow the Effects of Alcohol to Dissipate

There are some Shelter Rule defenses that are very clear-cut, such as my client who sat in the parking lot for two and a half hours.  There are others that are not as clear-cut, such as people who are not properly parked in parking spots.

Someone who is passed out in the middle of the roadway is not going to be able to take advantage of the Shelter Rule.  On occasion, what I will see is that officers will go up to a vehicle and tap on a window and all of a sudden, a person wakes up and they start to put the car into drive and they start driving away.

These are not good Shelter Rule defenses because while an officer may be having a suspicion that someone is possibly sleeping in their car after drinking, officers also have a community caretaking function to check up on people to make sure that they’re OK.  They have to make sure that they’re not sitting there dead or they’re not passed out in a coma.

Unfortunately, a lot of times this community caretaking function evolved into a DUI investigation once they do find that a person is drunk. The officers, for whatever reason, do not seem to be giving people the benefit of the doubt or giving them credit for doing the right thing.

By Brian Douglas Sloan

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 focused on Arizona DUI Defense representation, having personally defended over 4,200+ DUI clients in the past 19+ years.

If you’re looking for a divorce attorney, tax attorney, or civil attorney, I can comfortably say, "I’m not the one for you."

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 they think people want to hear them. 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, Criminal Cases, Accident Cases, and Divorces. 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 Phoenix DUI Defense Representation.

What I offer is intelligent, quality DUI Defense at an exceptional price.

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

I am one of Arizona's most award-winning DUI Defense Lawyers, recognized nationally, including in a 2022 issue of USA Today.

There are no other private DUI Defense Lawyers in Arizona that have personally defended more DUI cases than I have. And as a bonus, I offer a flat rate for my legal services without any hidden charges. This guarantees that I offer some of the most competitive rates among all Arizona DUI Attorneys, while being the 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 documented best DUI Lawyer in Phoenix and the surrounding areas of Maricopa County.

You can reach me on my cell phone: 480-720-7839.

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