Christine Alexander's drove drunk, killed a friend, went to prison -- and still struggles with her guilt.
Her story is a cautionary tale for all of us as we head into the holidays.
"I relive it every day. I wish I could go back and change it," the Missouri woman told highway safety advocates as the kicked off the annual holiday "Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over" campaign.
Alexander has been medicated, had counseling and electro-shock therapy. But 12 years later, she remains deeply depressed by what she did to her friend.
"I've tried killing myself. Like seven times," said Alexander.
Alexander went to a bar with a friend in 2004 and made some terrible choices. Her friend climbed on a motorcycle, and she drove after him, even though her blood alcohol was nearly twice the legal limit.
"When I looked up, he was stopped at the red light. I didn't have time to slow down or stop. And I hit him from behind. And he flew 65 feet into the air, bounced of my windshield and landed in the intersection," she said in an interview.
He died at the hospital.
"They wouldn't let me go to the funeral," she said.
Last year just in the three and a half days around Christmas, drunk drivers killed 120 people -- enough to fill the nightclub where the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration held the campaign kickoff.
"We do statistics, but every one of them is a mother, father, son, a daughter, brother, a co-worker, a family friend," said NHTSA Administrator Mark Rosekind.
But somehow they're hoping this year will be different. "I just want to keep people from going through what I've been through and make the same mistake I did," said Alexander.
Safety advocates are hoping technology will help save lives. Virginia and the feds just announced a multi-million dollar effort they call DADSS, for Driver Alcohol Detection System. Breath and fingerprint sensors check your blood alcohol level when you climb behind the wheel -- and keep you from starting the car if it's above .08.
They're planning to demonstrate the system in Virginia starting next year -- and roll it out as an option in new cars by 2020.
NHTSA also announced the release of a new virtual reality experience. Last Call 360 takes you to a bar and lets you make a series of choices.
Just over 35,000 people died in 2015 in vehicle crashes. More than 10,000 of those crashes -- almost one third -- involved drunk drivers.