Jan 20 2012 by Stephen Robertson, Stirling Observer Friday
A DRINK-driver who caused a head-on car crash while on the wrong side of the road has been jailed for six months.
Matthew Crowder (23) was almost two-and-a-half times the limit when he careered into another car heading the opposite way on the A811 Stirling to Gargunnock road at 8.30pm on November 11.
Stirling Sheriff Court heard on Wednesday that the other car contained a couple and their young daughter. The woman suffered a broken collar bone and two broken ribs in the horror smash.
Fiscal depute Lindsey Brooks said that the couple were heading east when the incident occurred.
She said: “Suddenly the witness became aware of the accused driving towards them on their carriageway.”
While the driver of the other car tried to take evasive action, there was a head-on collision.
When police arrived Crowder identified himself as the driver of the car and breath tests gave an alcohol reading of 87 microgrammes. The legal limit is just 35.
Crowder, of Maitland Avenue, Bannockburn, pleaded guilty to drink driving and dangerous driving.
The court heard that a friend of Crowder had even tried to take his car keys from him before he set off on his journey.
Solicitor Alistair Ross said: “He had the opportunity to avoid this. Had he allowed him to take his car keys from him then none of this would have happened.
“He realises that this was gross stupidity on his part.”
Mr Ross added that Crowder had also expressed remorse for the incident.
Sentencing, Sheriff William Gilchrist said: “You were driving while approximately two-and-a-half times the prescribed limit.
“The decision by you to drive in this condition was particularly willful, given that colleagues or friends tried earlier to take your keys from you.
“You then caused a head-on collision which has had very serious consequences.”
He jailed Crowder for six months, reduced from nine months due to his early guilty plea.
Crowder was also disqualified from driving for three years, backdated to December 7.