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LITTLETON, Colo. – A Littleton woman who is still paying the price for a fatal DUI accident, says she wants others to think twice before getting behind the wheel.
Andrea Milholm, 28, remembers the October 26, 2013 accident like it was yesterday.
“I went to a Halloween party in downtown Denver,” she said. “Paid $40 for all you can drink.”
After drinking all she could, Milholm got in her car and drove up Walnut Street.
She hit three people who were leaving the same party. One of them, Krista Peart, of Logan, Utah, died.
“It was terrible,” Milholm said. “It really didn’t sink in until I got out of jail, which was three days after we found out this young lady had passed away.”
Life changing event
Milholm’s decision to get behind the wheel was a life changing event for the victims and their families, and for Milholm and her family.
“I lost my job,” she said. “I had a job that required me to drive…(but) I had to surrender my driver’s license.”
The 28-year-old pleaded guilty to Vehicular Homicide-DUI and Vehicular Assault-DUI. She received an eight-year suspended sentence for the Homicide conviction and was sentenced to five-years in the Department of Corrections for the Assault charge.
She was also sentenced to 5 years of probation and 288 hours of community service.
“Prison is not like you see on TV,” she said. “It’s not fun times with people you meet in there. It’s scary. You feel alone.”
After spending 10 months behind bars, Milholm was released on probation.
Now, she’s wearing an ankle monitor to make sure she meets curfew.
“It’s not fun and it’s not attractive,” she said. “It’s not easily hidden, but I’m pretty transparent about this because I don’t want this to happen to anyone else. This is completely avoidable.”
Honoring memory of victim
The Littleton woman, who is now the executive chef at GraceFull Community Café, said she speaks publicly about what happened, to respect the memory of the young woman who was killed.
When asked if she reached out to the victim’s family, Milholm said, “They reached out to me. They were very forgiving.”
Milholm told Denver7 that she first met Peart’s family during her sentencing.
“I still talk to her dad and her older brother periodically,” she said. “I wouldn’t have been able to make it this far without them.”
Milholm said she hopes she’s making an impact on other young people.
“I hope they learn from my experience that DUIs don’t discriminate,” she said, adding that she’d never been in trouble before the fatal accident.
Milholm said she knows people want to go out to have a good time. She just wants them to do it with respect for the law and with respect for the lives around them.
“If you decide to have more than one or two drinks,” she said, “my best advice is make a plan. Make sure that Uber is downloaded on your phone or Lyft, or designate a driver. Just keep that driver accountable.”