Sutherland checks into Glendale jail


Related story: Sutherland to jail, but '24' OK

Kiefer Sutherland will spend his 41st birthday, the Christmas holiday and New Year's in the Glendale City Jail.

The "24" star checked himself into Glendale's three-year-old, state-of-the-art lockup Wednesday evening to serve 48 days on a second misdemeanor drunken driving offense.

Sutherland was arrested in Los Angeles in the early morning of Sept. 25 and charged two days later with two misdemeanor counts of DUI. He was already on probation for a 2004 DUI conviction.

The Emmy winner pleaded no contest in October to driving with a blood-alcohol level above the .08 legal limit and violating probation.

Sutherland and city prosecutors had agreed that he would serve a split jail sentence – 18 days for violating his probation beginning Dec. 21 and 30 days for the DUI charge to be completed by July 1.

But those plans apparently changed, since production on Sutherland's Fox series, "24," was shut down Dec. 3 due to the writers' strike.

According to Glendale Police Sgt. Tom Lorenz, Sutherland is no longer serving his sentence in installments and "must do 48 consecutive days."

Though Sutherland's arrest was in the city of Los Angeles, he was able to choose the Glendale jail as an alternative to the overcrowded and often violent Los Angeles County Twin Towers jail downtown, where deputies would be unable to guarantee his safety.

However, Sutherland is not a regular "pay-to-stay" inmate in Glendale, which charges $85 a day for inmates wishing to stay there as an alternative to county jail.

"He's committed as a county jail inmate," Lorenz said.

As such, Sutherland will receive no special treatment and will be put on laundry and kitchen work detail. That work, however, won't allow him to earn any early release.

"There is no early release. Here, he'll do the full 48 days," Lorenz said.

Sutherland will most likely have his own cell throughout his time there, since the jail is new and Glendale has few long-term inmates, the sergeant said.

In a statement, 20th Century Fox Television said "with production of '24' postponed until further notice due to the writers' strike, we supported Kiefer's decision to serve his sentence now."