Kiefer Sutherland 'Sorry,' Pleads No Contest to DUI

The 24 star will likely serve 48 days in jail

Photo: Matt Sayles/AP

Kiefer Sutherland has struck a deal in his DUI case, pleading no contest Tuesday to a misdemeanor drunk-driving charge, according to court documents.

His attorney, Blair Berk, met with city prosecutors ahead of his scheduled arraignment next week. The Los Angeles City Attorney’s office is recommending to the judge that Sutherland be sentenced to 48 days in jail – 30 days for the DUI conviction, and an additional 18 days for violating his probation.

The actor, 40, will be sentenced on Dec. 21.

“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 said in a statement. “I appreciate the support and concern that has been extended to me these last weeks both personally and professionally.”

The actor was arrested Sept. 25 after he was pulled over for making an illegal U-turn in Hollywood. Police said he then failed a field sobriety test.

Sutherland’s DUI Past

It was his fourth DUI arrest: In 1989, he was arrested for DUI and carrying a concealed and loaded weapon. In a deal with prosecutors, he pleaded no contest to alcohol-related reckless driving, and the other charges were dropped.

He was arrested again in 1993, and pleaded out the same way. He was given the option of serving 12 days in jail or performing 211 hours of community service, and opted for the latter.

A statement released Tuesday by 20th Century Fox Television, which produces 24, indicated that the actor’s jail term would not affect production.

“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 because of his situation,” the studio 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. From what occurred today, it is evident he is a man of his word. We wish him well and look forward to a long relationship with him.”

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