Kiefer Sutherland has apologised for driving under the influence of alcohol and has pleaded no-contest to drink-driving charges.

The actor, famous for playing the role of agent Jack Bauer on television show 24, could face time in jail over the offences as the prosecution is seeking a 48-day sentence.

Court documents show that lawyers representing the city of Los Angeles want the star to serve a sentence of 30 days for driving while intoxicated and a further 18 days for disobeying probation conditions in a similar drunk driving case in 2004.

In a statement, the 40-year-old action hero said he regretted the consequences of his behaviour saying: "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.

"I appreciate the support and concern that has been extended to me these last weeks both personally and professionally," he added.

The actor will appear in court on his birthday, 21st December, for sentencing. However the television studio which produces the award winning 24 has said that production deadlines will not be affected by the star's trial or sentencing.

In a statement, 20th Century Fox Television said: "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.

"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," the studio said.

10/10/2007 07:18:45