California Highway Patrol Officer Mike Harris says Brown was arrested around 12:20 p.m. Monday in the San Fernando Valley north of Los Angeles. He failed a field sobriety test and was booked on suspicion of DUI.
Harris says the R&B singer was pulled over after an officer saw him talking on his cellphone without a hands-free unit and noticed he appeared to be impaired.
Los Angeles police say Brown was released from jail on his own recognizance shortly before 2 p.m.
The 43-year-old is the ex-husband of Whitney Houston and a founding member of the group New Edition.
An email message to his attorney, Christopher Brown, was not immediately returned.