Kiefer Sutherland Sentenced To 48 Days

Actor Kiefer Sutherland arrives at the 62nd Annual Golden Globe Awards at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, Calif. on Jan. 16, 2005. GETTY IMAGES/Carlo Allegri

Kiefer Sutherland was sentenced to 48 days in jail for racking up a second drunken driving arrest in three years and immediately reported to a lockup.

The star of the television drama "24" arrived at the city jail and was being processed Wednesday evening, said Glendale police Officer John Balian.

Sutherland, who pleaded no contest in October to driving with a blood-alcohol level above the legal limit of .08, had appeared in court with his attorney earlier Wednesday and politely answered the judge's questions, said Assistant City Attorney Dan Jeffries.

The actor's request to serve his time at the Glendale city jail was granted and he was ordered to complete the sentence by March 30, Jeffries said.

"Kiefer made the decision to surrender to custody immediately," his attorney, Blair Berk, told The Associated Press.

Sutherland was already on probation for a 2004 drunken driving arrest when he was stopped by police shortly after midnight as he left a Hollywood industry party at the trendy Area nightclub on Sept. 25. Authorities said he failed a field sobriety test after being pulled over for making an illegal U-turn.

Sutherland had also pleaded no contest to a misdemeanor DUI charge in 2004. He was sentenced in that case to five years probation, 50 hours of community service and ordered to attend an alcohol treatment program. Authorities said he fulfilled the community service and alcohol treatment obligations.

The 40-year-old star of "24" was also convicted of alcohol-related reckless driving in 1993, according to the city attorney's office.

"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," Sutherland said in a statement issued after he entered his plea in the latest case.

Sutherland, who plays dashing federal counterterrorism agent Jack Bauer on "24," won last year's best actor Emmy.

Under the terms of his plea, Sutherland agreed to serve 30 days for driving with a blood-alcohol level above the legal limit and 18 days for violating his probation in the previous case.

He must also serve 60 months probation, pay a $510 fine, enroll in an 18-month alcohol-education class and attend weekly alcohol-therapy sessions for six months, Jeffries said.

He could have been sentenced to as much as 18 months in jail if convicted.

Sutherland will serve his sentence at Glendale city jail, but under a county jail inmate program because of overcrowding at county jail facilities, Jeffries said.

"If he does time in a county jail, he may be released early because of overcrowding," Jeffries said. "The Glendale jail can accommodate people. At least he'll serve the full sentence, and he can know what it is."

The Glendale jail is a minimum security facility with 48 cells, each of them measuring 10 feet by 8 feet. They come equipped with two beds, a toilet, washbasin and water fountain, but Sutherland will not be sharing his cell with anyone.

"Anyone here for a long period of time will get their own cell," Balian said.

The actor is classified as an "inmate worker" and will be required to perform duties in the laundry room and help prepare food for inmates in kitchen area.

"He'll be working here for 48 days," Balian said.

Sutherland will also have access to an outdoor area and be allowed two visitors per day.
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