Florida Keys

Drug-court lab manager fired after DUI arrest


A Key West woman who ran the urinalysis lab for the drug court program at the Monroe County Courthouse was fired last week after being arrested on suspicion of driving drunk.

Susan Borders Howle, 56, lost the job she had since 2015 on Nov. 14, the first business day after the Veterans Day holiday weekend during which Key West police say she drunkenly smashed her BMW into a parked SUV in the lot behind the courthouse.

Asked of Howle’s job status this week, Trial Court Administrator Holly Elomina gave the termination date without comment.

Howle was cited for driving under the influence, DUI with property damage, and hit and run, all misdemeanors and given a court date of Dec. 5 before Judge Wayne Miller.

Police were flagged down by two bystanders about 12:55 a.m. Nov. 11, who said a BMW had just struck a parked vehicle and didn’t stop, according to the arrest report. Smelling of alcohol and unsteady on her feet, Howle told officer Jesse Young she was “drug court manager” at the courthouse and asked if she was going to jail, police said.

Howle refused to do field sobriety exercises or take a breath test, police reported, and said she had accidentally struck the curb while making a U-turn. Her BMW had damage to the front bumper, fender, suspension and one tire. The estimated damage to both vehicles was $8,000, said Officer Jesse Young.

Howle was booked into the jail on Stock Island at 3:46 a.m. Nov. 11 and released without having to post bond at 10:50 a.m.

Gwen Filosa: @KeyWestGwen