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Kiefer Sutherland arrested on DUI charge

Kiefer Sutherland had a bad 24 hours. The dashing star of the TV drama “24” was arrested for investigation of misdemeanor drunken driving early Tuesday while still on probation from a similar 2004 conviction.
/ Source: The Associated Press

Kiefer Sutherland had a bad 24 hours. The dashing star of the TV drama “24” was arrested for investigation of misdemeanor drunken driving early Tuesday while still on probation from a similar 2004 conviction.

Sutherland, 40, failed a field sobriety test after he was stopped for making an illegal U-turn in West Los Angeles shortly after 1 a.m., police Officer Kevin Maiberger said.

Sutherland tested over the state’s legal blood alcohol limit of .08 percent, Officer Karen Smith said. Police declined to reveal the level.

He was booked for investigation of driving under the influence of alcohol and spent about three hours in jail before he posted $25,000 bail and was released.

Sutherland was scheduled to appear in court Oct. 16, Maiberger said.

Sutherland’s publicist, Evelyn Karamanos, said, “It would be premature to comment at this time.”

Not long before he was stopped, Sutherland was seen at a party at the trendy Area nightclub. The event, in the same neighborhood where the actor was pulled over, was a celebration of the new fall shows on Fox TV, the network that broadcasts “24.”

The city attorney’s office had not received the police report and had not filed charges Tuesday afternoon.

A misdemeanor DUI count would carry a maximum sentence of a year in jail. However, Sutherland also could face a charge of violating probation — the same charge that landed socialite Paris Hilton in jail for 23 days.

In November 2004, Sutherland pleaded no contest to one misdemeanor count of driving under the influence and was sentenced to 60 months of probation, 50 hours of community service and was ordered to attend an alcohol treatment program, said Frank Mateljan, a spokesman for the city attorney’s office.

In May 2005, Sutherland provided the court with proof that he had completed the community service and the treatment, Mateljan said.

Sutherland also had a 1993 conviction for alcohol-related reckless driving, Mateljan said. He had no additional details on either case.

Sutherland won a best actor Emmy award last year for his performance as dashing federal counter-terrorist agent Jack Bauer on the Fox TV series “24.” The series is set to return to the air in January.

In the wake of his latest arrest, a nonprofit group that raises money for Los Angeles police causes said it would no longer use Sutherland to present its guest of honor at an upcoming fundraiser.

Sutherland was supposed to introduce his friend, producer Brian Grazer, at the “True Blue” fundraiser of the Los Angeles Police Foundation scheduled for Saturday. Instead, actor Ron Howard will introduce Grazer at the $350-a-plate event at Paramount Studios, foundation President Karen Wagener said.

“Obviously we don’t want to embarrass him ... or the department, so introducing Brian on the stage would be inappropriate,” she said.

Sutherland still was on the invitation list for the affair, which was expected to raise $1 million. Wagener said she had not contacted the actor and it was not immediately clear whether he would attend.

Sutherland, who was born in London but went to high school in Canada, was receiving an award of excellence Tuesday afternoon from the Alliance of Canadian Cinema, Television and Radio Artists. After his arrest, the event at the official residence of the Canadian consul general was closed to the media.

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“We are honoring Mr. Sutherland’s commitment to Canada and to Canadian performers,” Richard Hardacre, ACTRA national president, said in a statement. Sutherland gave an eloquent speech but did not bring up his arrest, actor Gordon Clapp told reporters. “There was no mention of anything, certainly about the last 24 hours, but that’s only fair,” Clapp said. Asked about Sutherland’s demeanor, Clapp said: “He was fine, he was good. He was very affable with everyone and happy to see everybody.”