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Last Updated: Thursday, 6 December 2007, 03:51 GMT
24 star begins drink-driving term
Kiefer Sutherland as Jack Bauer in 24
Sutherland won an Emmy for his performance as 24's Jack Bauer
The actor Kiefer Sutherland has begun serving a 48-day jail sentence in California for a drink-driving offence.

The star of the TV series 24 was formally sentenced on Wednesday and decided to begin his term in Glendale city jail immediately.

Sutherland, 40, pleaded no contest - guilty - after he was arrested when on probation for a previous offence.

He was fined $510 (250), given five years' probation and must take alcohol education and counselling programmes.

Jail work

A police officer at the jail told AP news agency Sutherland would be housed in a 10ft by 8ft (3m by 2.5m) cell equipped with a bed, toilet, washbasin and water fountain.

He said he would be expected to work in the laundry room and kitchen.

Earlier reports suggested he would serve his term with breaks in order not to interrupt the 24 filming schedule, but reports now say that is no longer necessary as production has already been suspended due to a Hollywood writers' strike.

Sutherland was stopped by the police shortly after midnight as he left a party in Hollywood earlier this year.

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

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.

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