DWI reformer reflects on anniversary

Posted at: 12/24/2012 10:47 PM
Updated at: 12/24/2012 10:48 PM
By: Maria Guererro, KOB Eyewitness News 4

Photo: Nadine Milford
Photo: Nadine Milford

Nadine Milford is a tenacious grandmother who managed to shake up the New Mexico state legislature after her daughter and grandchildren were killed by a drunk driver twenty years ago. Milford reflects on her work, and her ability to heal.

Closure has taken almost two decades for Milford since that fateful night, Christmas Eve, 1992.

"We heard there were deaths. And I asked him, who? And he looked at me really sad and he said 'all of them'," Milford said.

It was a crash that brought drunk driving to the forefront for New Mexicans.

A drunk driver, Gordon House slammed head-on into the car. Melanie and Paul Cravens, along with their three daughters, were in the car. Only Paul Survived.

In the years since the accident, Milford became an almost constant nuisance for some state legislatures as she fought for tougher penalties.

"They kept telling me, why doesn't Mrs. go home and grieve? Well, excuse me, Well honey I was grieving on the run," Milford said.

Milford managed to close up derive-up windows at liquor stores, got DWI punishments doubled from three years to six, and got a fourth offense to become a felony. But, there's still more to do.

"I think the legislature needs to get it together, some of the judges need to get it together and I know the prosecution do," Milford said.

Christmas eve doesn't mean gifts at the Milfords. It's a time to cherish one another, and the memory this 74-year-old has spent two decades fighting to remember.

"There's Grandma and Grandpa, all four kids, and all of their kids and now we've got a new grandbaby coming, so we just decided instead of grief, let's play," Milford said.