The collision, involving a Toyota RAV4 and a Vauxhall Corsa, occurred on the A515 at Brierlow Bar at about 12.30pm.
The driver of the Toyota, a 62-year-old man, was airlifted to Derby Royal Hospital.
His car was recovered as it was declared undriveable.
The casualty’s injuries are not believed to have been serious.
The driver of the Vauxhall, a 27-year-old man, was breathalysed, arrested on suspicion of drink driving and taken into custody.
Two female passengers, one in each car, were uninjured.
Police blocked off the road for one hour 20 minutes.