The 19-year-old, who had been drinking and smoking marijuana, was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence and is also accused of "drag racing" on Miami Beach in Florida.
Speaking at a press conference, Miami Beach Chief of Police Raymond A Martinez said the star resisted arrest although he had done so "without violence".
The officer told reporters: "He did acknowledge that he did take a prescription medication and that he had been smoking marijuana and that he did consume a beer".
Bieber - famed for hits such as Boyfriend and Beauty And A Beat - was arrested after police saw two cars racing at 4.09am local time on Thursday and Mr Martinez said officers "estimated he was going anywhere up to 55 to 60 miles an hour".
A copy of the arrest report, published by the police, said Bieber swore at officers when he was stopped.
The arresting officer said the singer had "bloodshot eyes" and added that he could smell alcohol on his breath.
He added that he asked Bieber to take his hands out of his pockets and the teenager replied: "I ain't got no f****** weapons - why do you have to search me? What the f*** is this about?".
The police also issued a photograph of Bieber on their Twitter account which appeared to show the singer in an orange prison-issue jumpsuit.
Two vehicles had apparently been used to block off an area for the drag race, with Bieber in a yellow Lamborghini.
R 'n' B singer Khalil, the driver of a red Ferrari also involved in the race, was also arrested.
Bieber failed a field sobriety test and was taken to the Miami Beach police station for a breath test. Both drivers will be taken for a first appearance at a Miami-Dade County court.
Video footage has been broadcast on TV apparently showing Bieber behind the wheel of his car being followed by fans shortly before the arrest.
Mr Martinez said the two cars "were starting from a stop position and they were accelerating up to a high rate of speed and going almost double the speed limit in that area".
The arrest comes on the back of months of scrapes for the singer, who announced to his fans last month that he was retiring, only to explain it away as a joke shortly afterwards.
Miami Beach Police Department announced the arrest with a message on Twitter today.
Last year the singer disappointed thousands of fans in the UK by showing up to gigs late, which left many of his young followers having to leave soon after he started performing to catch trains home.
He was also involved in a scuffle outside his hotel in London during his colourful visit to the UK.
Detectives searched Bieber's California home recently looking for surveillance footage while investigating whether he was involved in throwing eggs and causing damage to a neighbour's home. A member of his entourage was arrested on suspicion of drug possession after the incident.
The Canadian megastar has enjoyed a meteoric rise to global fame and is one of the most popular people on Twitter - with well over 48 million followers.
His career began in 2007 after YouTube videos of him singing in competitions in his home town - Stratford, Ontario - went viral.
They were spotted by record label executives and in October 2008 he signed to Island Records.
He has famously been in an on-off relationship with actress and singer Selena Gomez and has featured in Glamour magazine's list of the world's 50 sexiest men for two consecutive years.
He has also amassed a fortune - earning 55 million dollars (more than £36 million) in just one year between May 2011 and May 2012, according to Forbes magazine.