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Justin Bieber released from Florida jail after street racing, DUI arrest

Justin Bieber was arrested in Florida for street racing and DUI. He also admitted to smoking pot and taking prescription drugs.
January 23, 2014 12:00:00 AM PST
Justin Bieber was arrested in Miami Beach on Thursday on suspicion of illegal street racing and driving under the influence of alcohol and drugs.

The Miami Beach Police Department confirmed the 19-year-old's arrest Thursday morning on Twitter.

Bieber was arrested shortly after 4 a.m. Thursday local time after a night of clubbing on Lincoln Road, a popular nightlife spot.

Miami police say Bieber and his friend, R&B singer Khalil Amir Shariff, were racing in a residential area with two lanes going north and two lanes going south. Authorities said the cars were clocked going 55 to 60 mph in a 30-mph zone. Bieber was reportedly driving a yellow Lamborghini and Shariff was driving a red Ferrari. Both cars were rented. Police told ABC Miami affiliate WPLG that two SUVs blocked off the street so the two vehicles could race.

After police pulled him over for speeding, authorities said the officer smelled a strong odor of alcohol when Bieber rolled down his window. Officials said Bieber questioned why he was being stopped. At a Thursday morning news conference, Miami Beach Police Chief Raymond Martinez said Bieber was "belligerent" and had "choice words" for the officer who had pulled him over.

That's when he was arrested for not following police instructions.

Bieber was then taken to the police station, where he became more cooperative. A sobriety test was administered, which he failed. His blood-alcohol level was .04 percent. Florida's limit for people under 21 is .02 percent.

Also at the station, police said Bieber admitted to having consumed alcohol, smoking marijuana and taking a prescription medication. Authorities also said Bieber had an expired driver's license from Georgia.

He was then transported to Miami-Dade County jail. Hours later, he appeared in front of a circuit judge in court, where his bail was set at $2,500 -- $1,000 for resisting arrest, $1,000 for DUI and $500 for driving with an expired license. Bieber was released from jail at approximately 11:15 a.m. PT. He was whisked away in a black Escalade. He was seen wearing a black hooded sweatshirt and sunglasses as he blew a kiss to dozens of surrounding press and fans.

Charges against Bieber included driving under the influence, driving without a valid driver's license and resisting arrest without violence.

ABC News learned Bieber received special treatment "due to safety and security concerns," according to a Miami-Dade Corrections and Rehabilitation official. Bieber was technically not supposed to receive a bond hearing until Friday morning since he missed the Thursday morning cutoff.

"Because of Justin Beiber's high profile status, a decision was made to place him on the afternoon bond calendar," according to the official.

Under Florida law, people under the age of 21 are considered driving under the influence if they have a blood-alcohol content of .02 percent or more - a level he could reach with one drink. For 21 and over, it is .08 percent.

For a first DUI offense, there is no minimum sentence and a maximum of six months, a fine of $250 to $500, and 50 hours of community service. For anyone under 21, there is an automatic six-month license suspension.

A first conviction for illegal street racing carries a sentence of up to six months, a fine of $500 to $1,000 and a one-year license suspension.

Shariff also appeared in court on Thursday, where his bail was set at $1,000. His bail was lower than Bieber's becuase Shariff did not have the charges of resisting arrest and driving with an expired license.

Shariff posted a photo on his Instagram account of a yellow Lamborghini with someone who looks like Bieber in the passenger seat. A female is behind the wheel and the caption read, "U know bizzle brought that lambo out."

Shariff posted another photo shortly beforehand, showing a Ferrari steering wheel. The caption read, "Miami nights ridin thru yo city in that hot wheel."

The Florida arrest likely won't affect Bieber's immigration status. According to U.S. immigration law, authorities do not revoke an individual's visa unless the person has been convicted of a violent crime or been sentenced to more than one year imprisonment.

WPLG said this isn't the first splash Bieber has made in Miami Beach - on Monday, he reportedly spent $75,000 in singles at a popular local strip club.

On top of it all, Bieber's arrival in Florida is under investigation. Authorities in the suburban Miami city of Opa-locka are investigating whether the singer was given a police escort when he landed Monday at the Opa-locka Executive Airport.

"The escort was unauthorized by police administration," said Assistant City Manager David Chiverton.

At least two marked police cars provided Bieber with an escort from the airport, but it was not clear where they went, Chiverton said.

The arrest comes as the singer continues to face accusations that he allegedly vandalized the house of his neighbor in Calabasas, Calif.

Police served him with a search warrant on Tuesday, Jan. 14, and said he was cooperative. He is accused of throwing eggs at his neighbor and 13-year-old daughter and is suspected of felony vandalism. Authorities estimated damage to the neighbor's home at approximately $20,000.

During that search, a member of his entourage, rapper Lil Za, was arrested on suspicion of felony drug possession.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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