Luke Hicks, 29, was killed instantly when his Honda Civic drifted into the path of an oncoming HGV on the A618 Hope Road in Bamford last year.
An inquest held at Chesterfield coroners’ court heard Mr Hicks, of Lings Crescent, North Wingfield, was three times over the drink-drive limit at the time of the fatal smash.
The scaffolder’s mum, Jennifer, told last Wednesday’s hearing: “Luke was a popular, happy and lovely lad.
“He lived life to the full and was saving up to get married before he died.”
The inquest heard how Mr Hicks spent the afternoon of March 19 drinking in pubs in Hope.
His car keys were taken off him and placed behind the bar at the Woodroffe Arms for his own safety.
However, Mr Hicks somehow managed to recover the keys and decided to drive.
The crash happened near the Rising Sun pub at about 8.05pm.
DC Iain McGregor, of Derbyshire police’s collision investigation unit, said the smash caused “colosall” damage to Mr Hicks’ car.
DC McGregor told the hearing that alcohol can lead to reduced response times, reduced vision and reduced concentration.
He said Mr Hicks was in a “state of reduced consciousness” at the time of the crash.
Both Mr Hicks – who was not wearing a seatbelt – and the HGV driver were not speeding and both vehicles had no defects which could have contributed to the smash.
A post-mortem report concluded Mr Hicks died of multiple injuries.
Coroner James Newman recorded a verdict of accidental death.