WESTPORT - A Westport man who pleaded guilty in a drunken-driving accident that caused the death of a U.S. Marine has begun a jail sentence that authorities say will last at least a year and possibly longer.

In Dec. 2009, 25-year-old Matthew Packer was driving his Jeep on Greens Farms Road when he lost control and struck a tree, killing 24-year-old passenger Charles Rochlin.  Rochlin was a U.S. Marine home on leave from Iraq.

Last Thursday, Packer pleaded guilty to drunken driving and second-degree manslaughter.  Packer could face as many as three years in jail unless his attorney argues for a lesser sentence.

Officials say when Packer is released, he will also have to speak at area high schools about the dangers of drunken driving.

Police: Alcohol could be factor in crash Man accused in Westport Marine?s death in court