LOS ANGELES, Sep 28 (Reuters) Kiefer Sutherland, star of the hit television thriller ''24,'' was formally charged with drunken driving today in a case that would land the actor in jail if he is convicted.
Sutherland was arrested on Tuesday and remains on probation for a 2004 drunken driving offense that put him into a court-ordered alcohol treatment program.
In the latest case, the Los Angeles City Attorney's Office charged Sutherland, 40, with two misdemeanor counts -- driving under the influence and driving with a blood-alcohol level over the legal limit. Each carries a maximum sentence of six months in jail and a 0 fine.
Under California law he would get at least four days in jail if found guilty because it would count as his second drunken-driving conviction, city attorney spokesman Frank Mateljan said.
Sutherland could receive up to an additional six months in jail if the judge in the case decides to revoke his probation, as requested by the prosecutor, Mateljan said.
The same traffic court judge, Michael Sauer, sentenced celebrity socialite Paris Hilton to 45 days in jail earlier this year for breaching her probation in a previous drunken driving case.
In November 2004, Sutherland was placed on five years probation, fined 500 dollars and ordered into an alcohol treatment program after pleading no contest -- the equivalent of a guilty plea in California -- to drunken driving.
The son of screen star Donald Sutherland is best known for his role as the terrorist-fighting secret agent Jack Bauer on the Fox network hit ''24,'' which earned him an Emmy Award as best actor last year.
The show, which averaged 13.5 million viewers earlier this year, returns for its seventh season in January.
Yesterday, financial magazine Forbes issued a list of the highest-paid television celebrities between June 2006 and June 2007 that put Sutherland at No 10 with 22 million dollars.
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