The founder and former CEO of a local high-tech company was sentenced today to 4½ years in state prison on felony drunk-driving charges.

John M. Bourque, founder of armor-plate maker Bourque Industries Inc., was convicted last month on two felony drunk-driving charges stemming from an arrest in 2009.

Following the conviction, the company announced an interim CEO to replace Bourque. The company said Bourque steadfastly maintained his innocence and intended to appeal.

Bourque was arrested on suspicion of aggravated drunken driving on Sept. 23, 2009, after being pulled over for speeding in Tucson, court documents show. His trial was delayed several times after Bourque switched attorneys.

As a repeat offender, Bourque faced an extended sentence of more than seven years. He spent more than three years in state prison for aggravated DUI in 2002, state Department of Corrections records show.

He has been in custody since the verdict, pending his sentencing today by Judge Richard D. Nichols.

Bourque Industries has developed tough, lightweight armor plate and other products based on a patented aluminum alloy, including a nationally certified body-armor plate.