Canadian cops to blare Nickelback songs to punish drunks
Los Angeles (CNN) With the holidays approaching, police in Canada are making all the usual warnings about the tough penalties for driving under the influence — loss of license, hefty fines and possible jail time.
But in the sleepy town of Kensington, cops are warning of a cruel and unusual punishment for drunk drivers who find themselves in the back of a patrol car — the blaring sound of the much maligned rock band Nickelback to go along with your handcuffs.
The Kensington Police Service posted the following on its Facebook page: “If you’re foolish enough to get behind the wheel after drinking, then a little Chad Kroeger and the boys is the perfect gift for you. So please, let’s not ruin a perfectly good unopened copy of Nickelback. You don’t drink and drive and we won’t make you listen to it.”
Criminal defense attorney Darren Kavinoky joined John Vause on “CNN Newsroom L.A.” He said the only possible criticism the police service could face is that they are making light of a very serious problem.
That’s because the country has one of the highest rates of drunk driving in the developed world, according to MADD Canada. Crashes involving alcohol and/or drugs are the leading criminal cause of death in Canada. On average, nearly four people are killed each day in crashes involving alcohol and/or drugs.
Despite the figures, Canada has some of the toughest DUI laws on the books. “As a matter of fact,” Kavinoky said, “even for citizens in the United States, they’re unable to gain entry into Canada if they’re on probation for DUI here in the U.S.”
Kavinoky ultimately praised the mandatory Nickelback sentence by police. “It’s an authentic, real way to get people engaged in an important conversation.”
The department told CNN today that they don’t actually hate the band: “We are just using a different approach to get an age old message communicated. As long as it starts the ‘Don’t drink and drive’ dialogue, we’re happy with that.”
Here’s the thing about Nickelback… they’ve sold more than 50 million albums — that’s makes them the 11th best selling act of all time — and Billboard ranks them the most successful rock group of the 2000s.
So why are they the butt of so many jokes like the Kensington Facebook slam?
Music writer Bob Lefsetz said, “Everybody hates Nickelback! The bottom line is that we all need to feel good about ourselves. The way we do that is by hating on somebody. Whether we hate on Kanye, Kim Kardashian, etc. But in today’s world, where it’s almost impossible to get noticed, if you have that much mind share among the public, you’re winning.
“Nickelback is actually a good act,” Lefsetz continued. “All the wankers who are saying how bad they are, they’re never going to go to the show anyway. So I applaud the police for having a sense of humor. I don’t believe this will have any impact on people drinking or driving or not. But it just illustrates, once again, that we all need a whipping boy.”
The irony about the whole thing is that Kensington cops have yet to play a note from Chad Kroeger in their vehicles. In fact, the police chief admitted he didn’t even have a copy of a Nickelback CD.
“The people who are making fun of Nickelback, they don’t get the joke,” Lefsetz said. “The joke is on them.”
Written and produced by: Ben Bamsey for “CNN Newsroom L.A.”