Police in Surrey are recommending drunk driving charges against Nickelback lead singer Chad Kroeger. Kroeger -- whose real name is Chad Turton -- was stopped by police in Surrey at about 2 a.m. on June 22. RCMP Cpl. Roger Morrow said Thursday that officers stopped Kroeger, 31, because of "excessive speed and erratic driving. He said Kroeger's vehicle was heading west on 64th Avenue near 148th Street when it was pulled over, and that police discovered potential evidence of impaired driving.
"Because of various indicators the investigator initiated an impaired driving investigation," he said. Morrow refused to give details about whether officers took Kroeger into custody or gave him a breathalyzer test at the time he was stopped.
"I can't go into it," he said, adding the incident is only public because a local radio station received a tip.
Morrow did not say what kind of car Kroeger was driving at the time, although property records show the B.C.-based rock singer owns a 2006 Mercedes E320 CDI sports car. Morrow also stressed the matter is still under investigation and that charges have not yet been laid. He said investigators will soon forward a package to the Surrey Crown counsel recommending charges. None of the allegations has been proven in court. No one answered the door at Kroeger's Abbotsford mansion Thursday afternoon. The band is scheduled to play a show in Cincinnati tonight.
Nickelback became one of the hottest hard-rock bands in North America after its album Silver Side Up debuted at No. 1 in Canada and No. 2 in the U.S. on Sept. 11, 2001. The band was formed in Alberta but has been based in B.C. since 1996. Jonathan Simkin, Kroeger's business partner at 604 Records, could not be reached on Thursday and Kroeger's lawyer, Marvin Stern, was in court in Victoria and could not be reached for comment.
A search of B.C. and Alberta court records showed that Kroeger has no record of impaired driving. A recent copy of his B.C. driving record, however, shows he had eight speeding charges between August 1999 and May 2001. It also shows that on Feb. 14, 2001, Kroeger was caught for "excessive speed" and "failure to produce a driver's licence or insurance" at stops in Abbotsford and Chilliwack. Kroeger also recently pleaded guilty to another charge of excessive speeding from May 2003 in Burnaby. He was fined $225. Kroeger, who was born in Hanna, Alta., was also arrested when he was younger.
In a 2002 interview he said that, at 14, he spent two months in juvenile detention for 11 counts of breaking and entering.
"My father wasn't around to keep me in line and it's not like my mother could do it," he said in the interview. "I just thought the world was mine to burn."