Brian Holm, who was convicted of vehicular homicide while under the influence in August of this year, has filed an appeal that cites his use of various prescription medications, including Effexor, as the contributing factors for his alleged drunkenness.
Holm, 52, who was sentenced to 15 years in prison, continues to state that he was not drunk during the incident that resulted in the death of 23-year-old Brian Beaver. On November 9, 2010, Holm swerved his car into the wrong lane of traffic. His car went onto the sidewalk and struck Beaver whom, along with two friends, were walking to Yellowstone National Park, where they were vacationing.
When the judge issued Holm’s sentence, he allowed Holm to appeal before sending him to prison. Holm did just that and filed a motion two weeks later, asking for a new trial because he says the judge dozed off during his testimony. The judge denied that motion. In Holm’s most recent motion, he brought up the judge’s alleged nap again, but he is also criticizing the time period in which his blood test was taken since that evidence was used to corroborate witness testimony about how much drugs and alcohol were in his system that night.
Holm contends that the timing of his blood test may have impacted the tests which measure of how much alcohol was in his system since he was also taking prescription medications at the time. His blood revealed that his alcohol level was 0.10 at the time, which is above the legal driving limit of 0.08. That amount may have been significant if alcohol was all that he had taken that night; however, he also took the prescription medications Ambien, Effexor and Lortab, which may have been a contributing factor to the blood alcohol test results.
Witnesses at the Montana Crime Lab even testified that the use of those drugs could have exacerbated the effects of the alcohol Holm had consumed that night. Patients are advised not to drive after taking Ambien, and Effexor is known to cause patients to suffer from aggressive/homicidal and suicidal behavior.