Bobby Brown, the ex-husband of Whitney Houston, is preparing to spend time behind bars following his arrest for drink-driving.

The R'n'B star was sentenced to 55 days after pleading no contest to driving under the influence and driving on a suspended licence. He was on probation for an earlier conviction at the time of his arrest.

In addition to his prison time, the 45-year-old Don't Be Cruel singer has also been ordered to undertake an 18-month alcohol treatment programme, put on probation for four years and fined $500.

He was given an additional 36 months' probation on the second charge and ordered to pay a $300 fine. An ignition locking device - an in-car Breathalyser that stops a car being driven if it detects the driver is over the limit - will also be installed.

Brown was arrested in October by officers in Los Angeles after he was spotted driving erratically.

"Bobby's family are at their wits' end following his latest arrest and are scared that the authorities will throw him in jail," a friend told TMZ at the time. The singer had a string of offences to his name.

"His family believes that if a judge orders him to complete a 120-day rehabilitation programme along with counselling and asks him to regularly attend AA meetings he might finally be able to beat his addiction problems."

In 1996, while still married to Houston, he was convicted of driving under the influence in Georgia. He pleaded guilty and served eight days in jail.