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Bieber leaves Florida jail

Justin Bieber was arrested for drunk driving after he was caught drag racing in a rented Lamborghini.

Justin Bieber was arrested for drunk driving after he was caught drag racing in a rented Lamborghini. Picture: AFP.

FLORIDA - Teen pop star Justin Bieber's tumultuous life off-stage landed him in jail for the first time on Thursday when police arrested the singer for drunk driving after he was caught drag racing on a main Miami Beach street in a rented Lamborghini.

The 19-year-old Canadian initially resisted arrest, cursed at police officers and later told them he had consumed alcohol, pot and prescription drugs, police said. Then, changing his demeanour, he grew cooperative and even smiled for his mug shot, coiffed hair perfectly in place.

Dressed in a red prison suit, a silent Bieber heard the charges via video link: driving under the influence, resisting arrest without violence and driving on an expired Georgia license.

A judge set bail at $2,500 and released the _Boyfriend _singer. If convicted, Bieber could face jail time of up to six months, although experts say he will likely get off with a lighter sentence for his first offense.

Bieber's arrest is his most serious run-in with the law during a year in which his problems have ranged from allegations of speeding through his gated community near Los Angeles to a felony investigation into whether he pelted a neighbour's house with eggs.

His once meteoric career has also showed signs of distress. A year ago, he became the youngest artist with five number one albums, but in March he collapsed on a London stage and in December hinted he might be ready to retire after releasing a compilation album and a film about his life.

Just after 4am on Thursday, officers observed Bieber's yellow Lamborghini alongside another driver in a red Ferrari accelerate from a stop position on a four-lane road in a residential area just a few blocks from the South Beach tourist district, Miami Beach Police Chief Raymond Martinez said.

Two SUVs had blocked off the road so the singer could race a friend who was driving the rented Ferrari, police said.

Bieber was driving the sports car 88 to 96 km per hour in a 48 kph zone, Miami Beach police spokesperson Vivian Hernandez said.

The teen and children's idol, who has had nearly 50 million followers on Twitter, risks running afoul of his fans' parents. And even his hardcore supporters recognize he may have entered dangerous territory.