A fifth driving under the influence conviction in the last eight years will send an Elizabethtown man to prison for up to 20 years.
Harry Gulyard Jr., 51, formally was sentenced Tuesday morning in Hardin Circuit Court as part of his April conviction by a jury trial.
“Incarceration is needed for your obvious substance abuse problems,” Circuit Judge Ken Howard told Gulyard.
During Tuesday’s proceeding, Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Chris McCrary said Gulyard’s “extensive criminal history” warranted the 20-year sentence the jury recommended.
“The jurors’ verdict and affixed sentence of 20 years is very appropriate in this case,” McCrary said following the sentencing. “It sends a message to all Hardin Countians that DUIs — and in particular repeat offenders — will not be tolerated in this community.”
Gulyard’s April 21 conviction was among the first in Kentucky impacted by passage of the Brianna Taylor Act — a state law that broadens the window that allows for stronger penalties for repeat drunken driving offenders.
The April conviction was Gulyard’s ninth DUI conviction — all in Hardin County — since 1998.
The Brianna Taylor Act is named for an Elizabethtown teen who was killed in 2014 in a drunken driving crash on Patriot Parkway. The legislation extends the “look-back period” for prior offenses from five to 10 years.
Without the Brianna Taylor Act in place, Gulyard would have lost his driving privileges temporarily and been fined.
The Brianna Taylor Act allows juries to hear about prior DUI convictions from the past 10 years when determining a sentence.
Gulyard also was convicted of being a persistent felony offender, which boosted the DUI conviction from a Class D felony to a Class B, punishable by 10 to 20 years in prison.
Gulyard was arrested and charged Aug. 2, 2016, after he drove from a Five Star Food Mart off New Glendale Road in Elizabethtown and was stopped by police. His alcohol level was .156 — nearly twice the legal limit.
Gulyard will be parole eligible after serving four years.