VANCOUVER -- A British Columbia man who killed three people while driving drunk along a winding mountain highway has been sentenced to eight years and four months in prison.

Samuel Alec pleaded guilty in B.C. Supreme Court in February to three counts of impaired driving causing death after he mowed down two cyclists who were out for a weekend ride north of Whistler in May 2015.

Alec's good friend Paul Pierre was a passenger in the vehicle and also died in the collision.

Alec, who is 46 years old, was heading home to Lillooet from Mount Currie along Highway 99 following what the court heard was a "lengthy binge of drinking" after a friend's funeral.

He will remain in prison for an additional six years after credit is given for time he already served awaiting trial.

The prosecution had asked for a 12-year sentence, while his defence lawyer argued that four years would be more appropriate.

During last month's sentence hearing, Alec turned around in the courtroom and offered a tearful apology to the families of the three men he had killed, saying he would never be able to make up for the pain and suffering he had caused.