Having pleaded no contest to drink driving, '24' star Kiefer Sutherland is now facing 48 days in jail as part of his sentencing deal.

Reuters reports that if the sentencing deal is approved by a judge, it would allow Sutherland to serve 18 days in jail in late December and early January and another 30 days when '24' is off the air next summer.

The sentencing deal would not disrupt the filming of the seventh series of '24'.

In a statement about Sutherland's deal, '24's makers Fox said: "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."

Sutherland was arrested last month while still on probation for a 2004 drink driving offence.

Prosecutors have recommended that he serve 30 days for last month's offence and another 18 days for violating his probation in the 2004 case.

The final sentence will be decided by a judge.

Sutherland will be barred from driving before 9 May 2008 and prosecutors have recommended that he be ordered to enrol in an 18-month alcohol education programme and attend weekly counselling sessions on alcohol abuse.

The actor was not in court yesterday; he issued a statement in which he apologised for his "poor judgement" and the "distress this has caused by family, friends and co-workers".