Mario Ruiz
Robert J. VanDyke was convicted of a third-degree felony for driving under the influence of alcohol at the Fourth District Court in Provo, Tuesday.

PROVO — A man convicted by a jury of his fourth DUI since 2001 was sentenced to prison Wednesday morning.

Robert VanDyke, 43, was given a zero-to-five-year sentence for a third-degree felony DUI, after being arrested Sept. 25 in Spanish Fork.

"As I indicated earlier, as far as DUIs go, this was not the most horrible one," Judge Claudia Laycock told Vandyke. "No one was hurt, there wasn't a terribly egregious driving pattern. This was a tough call for the jury and they did it without the benefit of your criminal history."

VanDyke has been convicted of three prior DUIs in the past 10 years, making this new arrest a felony, not just a misdemeanor charge.

Laycock said she would honor the jury's decision and deny VanDyke's attorney's motion to overturn their guilty verdict.

With that, she sentenced VanDyke to prison.

Prosecutor Craig Johnson said he was pleased with the outcome, as this prevents VanDyke from being on the road and hurting someone else.

"He cannot monitor himself," Johnson said. "He's unwilling to take responsibility for the present offense. He does not admit to having an alcohol problem."

However, Carter argued that the stop was illegal and should never have even taken place, because there was not enough information coming from dispatch to warrant a DUI arrest. Plus, VanDyke never committed a traffic violation.

Carter, VanDyke and VanDyke's family all believe the jury was too swayed by media reports about VanDyke's history, and didn't fairly focus on the case at hand.

Carter said they will be appealing the case within the next 30 days.

"I think we've got some pretty strong issues," said defense attorney Shelden Carter. "We'll see what a court of appeals says."

E-mail: [email protected]