January 11th, 2009: I crashed into the side of another car. The passenger of that vehicle died instantly, the driver had to be revived twice.  He was in a coma with significant brain damage but now is the essence of the word miracle; he found his own apartment and is seeking employment.  His strength and determination along with his strong faith in God have taught me to never give up.

I was cut out of my vehicle and unable to walk for 2 months.  I attempted suicide; I had AA meetings brought to my bedside until I could walk.  3 days before sentencing, I celebrated my 1 year sobriety birthday and received my coin.

On March 25, 2010, I was given a 26 year sentence; 16 years for intoxication manslaughter and 10 for intoxication assault – both carry a deadly weapons charge: my vehicle. This is the first time I’ve been in trouble. My time runs concurrently – meaning I’ll do 16 years of that sentence, eligible for parole after 8 years.

The road to self-forgiveness is difficult.  I can’t change my past, but I can change my thinking, my hopes and my actions.  I don’t want anyone to experience the devastation all 3 of the families involved in my wreck have. That pain never truly goes away, but I’m grateful for it.  It’s a daily reminder of what alcoholism and drug addiction is capable of. It keeps me from giving up on myself and it allows me to become lovable.

Erika K.

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"One in three of us are impacted by drunk driving."

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