PROVO A Utah County prosecutor asked a judge Wednesday to prevent a man with a history of drunken driving from consuming alcohol until his next court date.
Robert J. VanDyke, 42, of Springville, made his first court appearance in connection with a Sept. 25 arrest in Spanish Fork on a charge of driving while under the influence. He faces a third-degree felony DUI charge and a class B misdemeanor of driving with an alcohol-related restriction.
Deputy Utah County Attorney Craig Johnson asked 4th District Judge Claudia Laycock to consider VanDyke's criminal history and prevent him from frequenting bars or consuming alcohol until his next court date on Dec. 14.
"We believe he is a risk to the community," Johnson said. "It's clear he can't handle his alcohol."
VanDyke has four misdemeanor convictions and two felony convictions, including one for automobile homicide, for which he spent five years in prison.
Shelden Carter, legal defense for VanDyke, didn't agree with Johnson's assertions.
"That is the state's contention, and I don't necessarily agree with it," he said.
Laycock didn't bar VanDyke from frequenting bars between now and his court date. But she noted that his license was suspended Oct. 24 and won't be reinstated for at least 18 months.
"It looks like he won't be driving for a while," she said.
Carter also said he's looking forward to VanDyke's next court date.
"For Rob's sake, let's hope justice prevails," he said.
If justice prevails, Johnson said, VanDyke will serve five years in prison. Based on his record, that is the maximum sentence for a third-degree felony DUI charge and a class B misdemeanor for driving with an alcohol-related restriction. He said that might bring some relief to the family of Michelle Brady, who was killed when VanDyke collided head-on with her SUV in West Valley City on Jan. 28, 2000.
"Each day he's out is another day they're suffering," he said.
Johnson also said he's disappointed with the judge's decision. With the Thanksgiving holiday looming, he said, the Utah County Attorney's Office wanted to send a clear message to anyone who thinks they can drink and drive.
Court order or not, VanDyke said his holiday is going to be a dry one."Absolutely not," he said over his shoulder in response to inquiries about whether he'll be drinking any time soon.
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