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Last Updated: Wednesday, 10 October 2007, 07:27 GMT 08:27 UK
24 star jailed for drink-driving
Kiefer Sutherland as Jack Bauer in 24
Sutherland will take time out from playing Jack Bauer to go to jail
Actor Kiefer Sutherland will serve 48 days in jail after pleading no contest to charges of drink-driving.

Under a deal with prosecutors, the star will serve the sentence during breaks in filming for his hit TV drama, 24.

Sutherland, 40, was arrested in Los Angeles last month while on probation for a 2004 drink-driving offence.

In a statement, the actor apologised for his "poor judgement" and the "distress this has caused my family, friends and co-workers".

Sutherland was not in court as his lawyer, Blair Berk, entered the plea agreement.

A second charge of driving under the influence was dropped. His arrangement means that filming on the seventh series of 24 will not be interrupted, drawing praise from his bosses at TV network Fox.

'Man of his word'

"Kiefer made clear to us at the time of his arrest that his first concern was the welfare of those he worked with and that he intended to do whatever was necessary to prevent shutting down the show," it said in a statement.

"He told us that even if he had to sacrifice more time in custody in order to protect the show and the jobs of those who work with him, he would do so.

Kiefer Sutherland
The actor picked up an Emmy for his role in 24 last year
"From what occurred today, it is evident he is a man of his word."

The jail sentence consists of 30 days for driving with a blood-alcohol level above the legal limit, and 18 days for violating his probation, according to court records.

Under the terms of his agreement, he must serve the time in full.

Sutherland also received a six-month driving ban, and was ordered to attend alcohol education classes for 18 months and weekly alcohol therapy sessions for six months.

The Canadian actor first came to fame as part of the 1980s "brat pack", starring in films such as The Lost Boys, Young Guns and Flatliners.

He took on the role of 24's counter-terrorist agent Jack Bauer in 2001, and won an Emmy for the role last year.

Last week, financial magazine Forbes placed him tenth on its list of the highest-paid celebrities.

It stated that he earned $22m (10.79m); the list was topped by Oprah Winfrey with $260m (128m).

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