Teen pop star Justin Bieber was arrested in South Florida early on Thursday on a drunk driving charge after he was caught drag racing on a main thoroughfare in a rented yellow Lamborghini, police said.
In the latest off-stage incident to grab headlines, Bieber initially resisted arrest and later told officers he had consumed alcohol, pot and prescription drugs, police said.
Officers observed Bieber and another sports car accelerate at high speed from a stop position on a four-lane road in a residential area a few blocks from the South Beach tourist district, Miami Beach Police Chief Raymond Martinez told reporters.
Two SUVs had blocked the road so the 19-year-old “Boyfriend” singer could race a friend who was driving a rented red Ferrari, police said.
Bieber, who was driving 55 to 60 miles per hour in a 30-mile-per-hour zone, was also charged with resisting arrest without violence and driving with an expired Georgia driver’s license.
The Canadian star was “a little belligerent, using some choice words,” when police arrested him, Martinez said, but grew cooperative once at the police station.
Bieber later acknowledged that he had used prescription medicine, had been smoking marijuana and had consumed alcohol.
His friend, identified as fellow singer Khalil Sharieff, was arrested on a charge of driving under the influence.
Bieber would likely be allowed to post bail later on Thursday after being transferred to a different jail.
The police department in the Florida city of Opa-locka is investigating whether two of its officers gave Bieber an unauthorised escort on Monday night when he landed in a private jet at the local Opa-locka airport, said city spokesman David Chiverton.
He confirmed the city also was looking into whether officers escorted Bieber to the King of Diamonds strip club in Miami Gardens.
Bieber’s erratic behaviour has at times overshadowed his music career in the last year as the Canadian star who shot to fame at age 15 transitions to adulthood.
Earlier this month, detectives in California raided Bieber’s home after he was accused of pelting a neighbour’s house with eggs.