back to article Has Canadian justice gone too far? Cops punish drunk drivers with NICKELBACK

Police in Canada says it will be punishing drunk drivers by not only arresting them, but forcing them to listen to corporate boy band Nickelback on the way to the cop shop. A Facebook post from the Kensington Police Department of Prince Edward Island warns would-be partiers in the Great White North to avoid getting behind the …


    I have to be a weirdo then

    I actually enjoy me some Nickelback. Especially like putting on "If Everyone Cared" on repeat and cranking up the volume when I feel depressed.

    1. veti Silver badge

      Re: I have to be a weirdo then

      Good idea. As we know, a problem shared is a problem halved, right? So if you make your neighbours depressed too, that's bound to make you feel better.

    2. MNGrrrl

      Re: I have to be a weirdo then

      > Especially like putting on "If Everyone Cared" on repeat and cranking up the volume when I feel depressed.

      Yeah, like an alcoholic getting drunk to feel better...

      1. dan1980

        Re: I have to be a weirdo then


        Works for me. No beer makes Dan sad. Beer makes Dan 12% less sad. Winning.

        1. Fungus Bob Silver badge

          Re: I have to be a weirdo then

          What about other beverages? Does rum make you 19% less sad, for example? Do fruit smoothies make you long for death?

          Enquiring minds want to know.

          1. dan1980

            Re: I have to be a weirdo then

            Rum is something of a force multiplier, when applied on top of beer. Unfortunately, much collateral damage results. Net effect largely depends on quantity of rum.

            If we measure happiness over time, we find that beer provides a happiness such that H=B1/2 - or thereabouts. Thus we see that happiness will asymptotically approach a moderate, finite value. At some point, however the size of b will be unmanageable.

            Enter R.

            R changes things. R affects H in complex ways, partially determined by B but also influenced by other factors such as time, location and company. R also seems to behave in utterly unexpected ways that cannot be accounted for by any of the previous variables.

            Generally, however, R will re-establish a positive growth in H but, as it increases beyond a certain point, becomes dangerously unstable and can cause a sharp decline in H.

            1. Fungus Bob Silver badge

              Re: I have to be a weirdo then

              My brain hurts. I need a drink.

  2. GrumpyKiwi


    I'd rather be waterboarded than listen to that stack of ass-water wankery.

  3. raving angry loony

    What if...

    ...the people they're arresting were drunk driving after a Nickelback concert? Or drunk and disorderly at a Nickelback party? What will they do then, I wonder?

    1. MrDamage

      Re: What if...

      Then they'll break out the big guns.

      Beiber and Dion.

      1. Kane Silver badge

        Re: What if...

        "Then they'll break out the big guns.

        Beiber and Dion."

        Nah, it'll be a spot of Daphne and Celeste.

      2. CanadianMacFan

        Re: What if...

        Or The Vinyl Cafe with Stuart Mclean. I imagine that if you are drunk then the way he talks will screw with your mind.

    2. Fungus Bob Silver badge

      Re: What if...

      Kenny G

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: What if...

        "Kenny G"

        I happen to LIKE Songbirds. As for Nickelback, there's Photograph and Rockstar.

  4. Long John Brass Silver badge


    A continuous loop of jingle bell rock will make them repent

    If that don't work a round or two of crazy frog will sort the buggers out :)

    1. Nolveys Silver badge
      1. FuzzyTheBear

        Re: Lightweights

        You're lucky Nolveys i didnt report your post to the moderators .. you sir are a sadist :)

        Here's a typical french canadian counter attack

        Have a great weekend :)

    2. Steven Raith

      Re: Lightweights

      "A continuous loop of jingle bell rock will make them repent"

      Not if they've worked in retail over Christmas it won't. They'll be immune.

      Steven "worked at PC world for presumed sins in a past life. Over Christmas" R

      1. You aint sin me, roit

        Re: Lightweights

        I was at the checkout of a shop yesterday - Bon Jovi was on.

        "It's to give us a break from the Christmas songs... stop us going mad" the checkout girl semi-explained to me.

        "No, it's just because it's still November. Next week it will be solid Christmas songs." corrected her supervisor, grumpily.

  5. Kevin McMurtrie Silver badge

    So you like Nickelback?

    It's a world of laughter, a world of tears

    It's a world of hope and a world of fears

    There's so much that we share, that it's time we're aware...

    1. John Savard Silver badge

      Re: So you like Nickelback?

      That reminded me of another song. I don't think it was Walt Disney's "It's A Small World After All", nor Seattle, which was a hit for Perry Como. Hopefully, I will find the song I'm thinking of soon, which I'm sure had nothing to do with Nickelback.

      1. Charles 9 Silver badge

        Re: So you like Nickelback?

        I think Fear Factor did a variant of this. Imagine some perenially-annoying song ("Tiny Bubbles" springs to mind) played over and over, only each time it's played a little different, such as at a different pitch (or worse, sliding back and forth). Since the brain is geared to pick up on differences, this helps to prevent a drown-out effect, plus playing it off-key means even the rare FAN of the song will be put out.

        After all, there are people who actually LIKE "Rockstar" or "Photograph" (or even Kenny G's "Songbird"). But it would take a music masochist beyond measure to WANT to listen to it off-key.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Driving from the airport at Halifax (NS, Canada)...

    On the way out the driveway from the Halifax airport, there's a very strange road sign. It awkwardly announces to visitors that...

    "Nova Scotia Police Are Tough on Drunk Drivers."

    This wording ("tough on") seems to be subtly implying a threat of something like extrajudicial corporal punishment.

    Perhaps they could add comedy animated silhouettes to the mostly white sign, showing an alleged drunk driver laying on the ground, being soundly whacked by several animated police officers. Just to make the implications even more explicit.

    Every time I see that sign, it's clear to me that the people running the Nova Scotia DOT ain't splitting atoms on the weekend.

    1. Nolveys Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      Re: Driving from the airport at Halifax (NS, Canada)...

      There used to be a good one on the side of a barn on the 115 to Toronto. It took up almost the entire side of the structure and was of a police man pointing. The caption read "If you drink, that's fine. If you drink and drive, your mine."

      Some helpful soul was kind enough to add an apostrophe and an "e" to the "your". Some other helpful soul added a huge fluffy mustache that looked like it was made of giant public hair.

    2. GrapeBunch Silver badge

      Re: Driving from the airport at Halifax (NS, Canada)...

      I forget which Canadian TV comedy series had Nova Scotia police, road cops, acting very strangely. Was it Codco, Four on the Floor, 22 Minutes, ...? I even tried Royal Canadian Air Farce, but the search engine was unable to spew up the reference. Maybe your road sign is another instance of "Life Imitates Art".

  7. JLV Silver badge

    irony, thy name is Donut Cop

    1. John Savard Silver badge

      Re: irony, thy name is Donut Cop

      But you shouldn't be posting this on a British web site! After all, in that country, he has a right to be forgotten! At least for that conviction, but not for his music.

  8. frank ly

    Legal aspect

    Do the Performing Rights Society (and all the other ones) have any opinion about this? Can the police just do this or do they have to record how many times they do it and pay fees?

    1. Stoneshop Silver badge

      Double deterrent

      By simply adding the PRS fees to the fine, the perp will pay for his/her sins that way too.

  9. Marketing Hack Silver badge

    Cruel and unusual punishment!!

    Thank goodness it wasn't Loverboy, that would make perps' brains liquify and leak out their ears.

    1. Trilkhai

      Re: Cruel and unusual punishment!!

      Nah, their songs are far too easy to enjoy while drunk — but the police could always use the 'Working For The Weekend' music video, which is so awful that even being plastered doesn't help:

  10. DougS Silver badge

    Aren't the cops willingly subjecting themselves to it also?

    Unless they put headphones on their handcuffed perps, they will be.

    A cop who hears Nickelback several times a night, every night, is virtually certain to snap and go on a shooting rampage. After a few hundred people are killed by cops gone mad in shopping malls in Montreal and Toronto, I expect they'll rethink this insane policy!

  11. allthecoolshortnamesweretaken

    Once again

    life imitates art.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I'll just leave this here as an alternative to Nickelback,

    Also useful for clearing house parties.

  13. fruitoftheloon

    Each to his (or her) own

    Well, I like some of there stuff...

  14. TheProf

    It could be worse

    That reminds me of a friend who lost a wager. The forfeit was either a kick in the nuts or having to listen to a whole Coldplay album. I saw him afterwards and he was clutching his groin with a look of agony on his face. Next time, he said, he'll go for the kick in the nuts.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    How cute

    People love to find a period when they think pop music became crap and imagine it ever wasnt.

    Example of a number 1 hit from the 80s

    1. Davidmb

      Great pop song

      And a perfect demonstration of the KLF's "How to write a number one" technique. See The Manual for more details.

      As a Doctor Who-mad kid in the 80s, I loved it, even though it was insane.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Great pop song

        It still does a good job of communicating to people who don't remember the 80s that we had stuff like that even back then.

        As a Doctor Who-mad kid in the 80s, I was bullied with that song.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    MK Ultra

    If I remember correctly the Americans used Avril Lavigne and Norah Jones CDs during their 'questioning'

  17. Luiz Abdala

    What? They ran out of Spice Girls CDs?

    ... or even Backstreet Boys?

  18. Tristan Young

    It's not up to police to punish someone, and the method - threatening a punishment and relating it to torture is them overstepping in a big way. Indecent.

    That being said, There is a lot of bad music out there, with entire genres that would be more torturous to play, I think the police went too far in insinuating that Nickelback is bad (not saying it is or isn't true BTW), and hopefully Nickelback hits back at them with a successful lawsuit for defamation, misuse of their intellectual property, public performance of copyrighted work, etc.

    Honestly people, don't drink and drive. And police.... I doubt your threat will help.

  19. DropBear Silver badge

    Good to know I'm pretty much immune to at certain kinds of police brutality - I actually like that song. It's not life-changing catharsis-prompting High Art but it's a perfectly serviceable song taken in a tongue-in-cheek way. Then again, I'm known to be utterly broken on the matter - never could quite understand what exactly is supposed to be so horrifying about Rick Astley other than me not particularly being a fan. You want to brutalize me, break out a rap or R&B song. Any R&B...

    1. Chris G Silver badge

      DropBear, I hope you are talking about modern so called R'n'B, what we called R'n'B in the '60s was this;

      plus the Animals, early Stones , Booker T and the MGs

      What they call R'n'B now doesn't have any rythm and seems short on the blues.

      1. DropBear Silver badge

        @Chris G: hey, that doesn't sound half bad! Thanks. Well then I guess you need to apply _modern_ R&B to brutalize me...

      2. Jay 2

        Indeed. To me, what we shall term "modern R&B" (or equiv therof) usually is one of the following:

        Woman singing that her man is a a low-down (cheating) scumbag

        Man singing that he can't get enough sex

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Sounds a little broad if you ask me. After all, what you describe fits Carrie Underwood's "Before He Cheats" and Big & Rich's "Save a Horse, Ride a Cowboy". Both, BTW, are Country artists, not R&B.

  20. rgriffith

    So do the police have an actual performace license for the music as they are playing it for an audience.

  21. Gobhicks

    It's BOC time, obviously...

    Canadian Mounted, baby police force at work

    Red and black, it's their color scheme

    Get their man in the end

    (It's all right)

    It's all right

    (It's all right)

    It's all right

    (It's all right)

    Ah yeah, my honies know it's all right

    (It's all right)

    It's all right

    (It's all right)

    It's all right

    (It's all right)

    Ah yeah, baby knows it's all right

    You'd kill, you'd maim

    (Ah, c'mon kill 'em)

    You'd kill, you'd maim

    (Look out)

    C'mon my husky

    Frontenac Chateaus baby I cross the frontier at ten

    I got a whip in my hand, baby

    And a girl or a husky at leather's end

    (It's all right)

    It's all right

    (It's all right)

    It's all right

    (It's all right)

    Ah yeah, baby knows it's all right

    (It's all right)

    It's all right

    (It's all right)

    It's all right

    (It's all right)

    Yeah baby,…

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