Former NFL quarterback Jim McMahon was arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol early Sunday morning.

According to Santa Rosa County sheriff's spokesperson Jerry Henderson, police received two calls about a pickup carelessly driving through traffic and nearly causing accidents.

McMahon apparently swerved across the centre line of a highway before being stopped by the authorities.

The former BYU standout failed a field sobriety test and had a blood-alcohol level more than three times the legal limit in Florida.

McMahon, who led the Chicago Bears to their only Super Bowl title, posted a $500 US bond and was released from Santa Rosa County jail later on Sunday.

He is expected to be in court on Monday.

McMahon passed for 18,148 yards in 119 NFL games.

His best season was 1985, when he set career highs in yards (2,392) and touchdowns (15) for the Bears, who finished 15-1 and defeated the New England Patriots in Super Bowl XX.

He also spent time with San Diego, Philadelphia, Minnesota, Arizona, Cleveland and Green Bay.