A student has been jailed for injuring two night shift workers in a head-on crash when he was drunk and more than double the drug driving limit.

Alex McGuinness had been partying all night when he borrowed a friend's car at 4.30am and drove off to buy more drugs.

He crashed on his way back from Ilfracombe to the party in Woolacombe when he dropped a cigarette into his lap and veered across the road to try to retrieve it.

The Seat Ibiza car crossed right the way onto the other side of the A361 at Mullacott Cross and collided head on with a Citroen C5 being driven by two men who were heading home from a night shift.

The other driver had no warning as he was confronted by the Seat on a blind corner. He suffered a broken pelvis and his passenger a broken femur and shattered hand.

McGuinness was over the drink drive limit because he had spent the night drinking Budweiser, vodka, gin and wine.

The level of cocaine in his body was more than twice the allowable limit and there were also traces of ketamine and cannabis.

He had only passed his driving test and was not insured to drive the car. He started a music degree in London three months after the crash in June last year and hopes to be able to continue his studies after his release.

McGuinness, aged 19, of Cavie Road, Braunton, pleaded guilty to two counts of causing serious injury by dangerous driving, driving while under the influence of alcohol and metabolites of cocaine, and having no insurance.

He was jailed for a year and four months in a Young Offenders' Institution and banned from driving for a year after his release by Judge David Evans at Exeter Crown Court.

Judge Evans told him: "You should not have been behind the wheel in the first place. You were over the limit for both alcohol and drugs.

"If you had been stone cold sober, you may have been able to deal with the distraction.

"The injuries which these men suffered are the sort of consequences you risk when you make the quite deliberate decision to drive when you are unfit to do so.

"It is depressing to find that, even now after all the public attention there has been over decades, and even among the well educated such as yourself, there is a cavalier attitude to drinking and driving.

"If this offence was born out of a belief that the chance of being caught in rural area was low, them I fear you will reap the whirlwind."

Gareth Evans, prosecuting, said McGuinness had been out with friends at at least one pub and a club before they all went back to a house in Woolacombe.

The others persuaded him to drive to Ilfracombe to buy more cocaine because he was thought to be the least drunk.

Richard Crabb, defending, said McGuinness had put his entire future in jeopardy through one stupid mistake. He had bowed to peer pressure to drive after initially refusing to do so.

Mr Crabb said: "He readily accepts he would not have behaved in this way if he was sober. He is very sorry for what he has done and will regret it for the rest of his life.

"He was smoking a cigarette and dropped it. He was trying to retrieve it and the car crossed onto the other side of the road. He is apologetic, remorseful, and terrified of the prospect of prison."