Judge Michael Mander told Jorawar Bing Singh, 31, who is unemployed, that the offence happened before a change in the law doubling the maximum penalties for such crimes so he was restricted in the sentence he could pass. Shrewsbury Crown Court was told that Singh, a diabetic, had drunk six or seven lagers before the crash and tests showed that he was two-and-a-half times over the limit.
The women who died - Heather Smith, 21, and her sister Linda, 26, from Donnington, Telford, Shropshire, and their friend, Sandra Darricott, 31, from Hadley, Telford - were all in a car hit by Singh's Ford Capri, which had struck a central reservation and gone out of control.
Singh, of Hadley, Telford, who admitted causing the deaths by careless driving while under the influence of drink, was also banned from driving for 10 years. His counsel, Balbir Singh, said that his client was full of remorse and would have to live with what he had done.
But, passing sentence, the judge said that Singh had a previous conviction for drink- driving and if anyone should have learnt a lesson from his previous experience it should have been him.
At the end of the trial, the judge made a 'personal statement' in light of nuisance telephone calls received by his wife, Jancis, at their home near Shrewsbury. He said: 'I do not know whether what I am about to reveal is in any way connected with the case. Probably it is not. My wife has received a number of telephone calls which have distressed her . . . The police have been informed and my home telephone is being tapped and if there is any repetition of the matter a very serious view will be taken.'