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Man jailed for causing serious injury collision in Bridgwater

The scales of justice and the words

A man has been jailed for 16 months and disqualified from driving for 50 months after admitting causing serious injury by dangerous driving at Taunton Crown Court.

Stuart Dowding, 38, of Thornley, Durham, was given a six-month interim disqualification at Taunton Deane Magistrates Court on 25 August and referred to Taunton Crown Court for sentencing.

The case was brought following a collision on Wednesday 26 January on the A372 Westonzoyland Road, Bridgwater. Mr Dowding was driving his BMW X1 at about 10pm and was involved in a head-on collision with a car travelling in the opposite direction after leaving his lane on a bend in a dangerous overtaking manoeuvre.

The woman driving the other vehicle – also a BMW X1 – suffered serious long-term injuries as a result of the collision.

Dowding was found to have 155 milligrams of alcohol per 100 millilitres of blood – almost twice the legal limit – as well as prescription drugs in his bloodstream.

Acting Sergeant Owen Davies, Lead Investigating Officer in the case, said: “Mr Dowding told us he was experiencing serious side-effects from prescribed medication and blamed this for his decision to drink and then drive.

“His erratic driving was witnessed by other motorists in the moments before the collision and his actions have caused a lasting injury to a woman who was simply making her way home from work.

“It’s never acceptable to drink and drive and anyone taking prescription medication has a further responsibility to make sure they are fit to get behind the wheel.”​