This was after, as Paul Bibby reports in the SMH, he had blown .168 on the roadside, and had been observed by Police as "unsteady on his feet, his face was flushed and his eyes watery".
The Police Facts, apparently accepted by the plea of guilty on his behalf this morning at Ryde Local Court, contain a claim by Howie that he had consumed a bottle of red wine between 7pm and 11pm the night before on May 18.
But would a Court be prepared to accept such a submission? One would expect most Magistrates to at least raise an eyebrow, if not smash the submission straight out of the ground.
The Magistrate at Ryde Local Court has already given hints that he is so far not pleased. As Madden reports:
the retired judge sent a note to the court informing it of his guilty plea and acknowledging that he expected to lose his licence and be fined.
But the magistrate said that Justice Howie appeared to have a "misapprehension" of sentencing options before the court, and said it was possible that a jail sentence could be handed down.
The magistrate also expressed his displeasure at Justice Howie's failure to appear today, saying "whoever the offender might be, it's a matter where I expect the man to be before the court".The accident, as reported by Bibby, reveals at least some culpability on the part of Howie, who can be thankful no serious injuries were caused:
Howie was planning to drive to the central coast at 9:30am on May 19 when he failed to give way to a B-Double truck, according to a police statement of facts tendered in Ryde Local Court this morning.
Police say the 61-year-old, who has presided over many significant cases, including that of Dianne Brimble, hit the truck's rear trailer as he pulled onto Beecroft Road in Sydney's northwest, just minutes from his home.
They say he then mounted the footpath before crossing onto the other side of the road into oncoming traffic, colliding head on with a car coming the other way and sending it into a third car travelling in the same direction.
The driver of the car that Justice Howie hit head on was taken to hospital with neck pain but did not suffer serious injury.If all of that is right, and there is no indication of a dispute to the Police Facts, there must be a prospect of further charges being laid by Police.
The matter has been adjourned to September.