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Actor Kiefer Sutherland Pleads No Contest to Drunken Driving Charge


Kiefer Sutherland pleaded no contest on October 9 to drunken driving. He will begin serving a 48-day jail sentence while his Fox drama 24 begins its winter production break in December.

The 40-year-old actor agreed to serve 30 days for driving with a blood alcohol level above the legal limit of .08 percent, with an additional 18 days for violating his probation for a 2004 drunken driving case, according to court records.

The actor was not in the courtroom and his attorney, Blair Berk, entered the plea agreement. A second misdemeanor charge, driving under the influence, was dropped. The charges stemmed from a September 25 arrest in West Los Angeles.

Sutherland must also enroll in an 18-month alcohol education class while attending weekly alcohol therapy sessions for six months.

In a statement, Sutherland said "I'm very disappointed in myself for the poor judgment I exhibited recently, and I'm deeply sorry for the disappointment and distress this has caused my family, friends, and co-workers on '24' and at 20th Century Fox."

Sutherland will be sentenced Dec. 21, when he must begin serving his 18 days in the county jail. He will then have until July 1, 2008 to serve the remaining 30 days. He will be on probation for five years and faces fines and a driving suspension, according to court documents.