A DRINK-driver endangered the life of his two young children when he drove the wrong way down a dual carriageway and crashed into an oncoming vehicle, a court has heard.

Jason Williams pulled his children, one just eight months old, from his smashed up Range Rover following the crash on the A31.

The collision took place near Stoney Cross, when the self-employed builder, who had been drinking at a wedding, mistakenly turned onto the wrong side of the dual carriageway.

He continued travelling eastbound on the westbound carriageway until crashing into an oncoming vehicle, heavily damaging both cars.

Williams failed to stop at the scene of the crash, ditching the car and calling his father to pick him up.

But when police caught up with them, Williams claimed he had been car-jacked and denied being involved.

Unimpressed by his story, police arrested Williams, who later confessed to the crash.

On Monday, the 39-year-old was jailed for eight months after pleading guilty to dangerous driving.

The court heard how Williams, his wife and his two children attended a wedding reception at The Trusty Servant at Minstead on the day of the crash.

With Williams driving, the family left in their silver Range Rover, heading in the direction of the A31 at around 8pm.

Prosecutor Dawn Hyland said Williams turned eastbound onto the westbound carriageway at the Minstead turn-off, heading in the direction of the M27.

He drove around a third of the mile before colliding with an oncoming black Vauxhall Astra.

Ms Hyland said the driver of the Vauxhall swerved the car into a nearby verge and "thought he was going to die".

She said: "In his statement he said that he didn't expect a car to be coming the other way on a dual carriageway.

"The driver went said he went past the spot of the incident the other day and felt like the luckiest man alive."

Ms Hyland said the driver suffered small cuts to his face in the crash, but was otherwise unharmed.

Following the crash, Williams drove his heavily damaged Range Rover half a mile back down a slip road, before ditching the car and getting a lift with his father.

Police later arrived at Williams' home, in Dean Villas, Knowle, where he claimed he had been car-jacked by three men and had been drinking since his return.

He was breathalysed, four hours after the crash, and found to have 76 micrograms per 100 millilitres of breath – the legal limit being 35 micrograms.

In his police interview, Williams dropped the car-jacking claims and admitted to causing the crash and drink-driving.

In mitigation, Nicola Talbot-Hadley described her client "hardworking family man" who had shown remorse for his actions.

She said: "He knows he is in a very serious position.

"He is very much aware of the risk his actions put others and his own family in.

"He feels extremely bad about the situation and knows he is fortunate that he did not cause someone's death that night."

Ms Talbot-Hadley said the suspension of Williams' driving licence had forced him to change his career, from a successful self-employed builder to a new role working for Siemens in Eastleigh.

She warned jailing Williams would have a "devastating impact" on his "close-knit family".

But judge Peter Henry said Williams' actions warranted an immediate custodial sentence.

Judge Henry said: "There was a significant risk of causing death or serious injury.

"It is aggravated further by the fact your wife and two very young children were in the car and the fact that you drove off after and the fact that you made up a lie.

"I'm afraid I take the view that this is so serious that only an immediate custodial sentence can follow."

Williams, who pleaded guilty to dangerous driving and drink-driving, was sentenced to 12 months, reduced to eight for his guilty plea.

Williams was also disqualified from driving for three years.