Nickelback frontman Chad Kroeger was found guilty in Surrey yesterday of driving with a blood alcohol level higher than the legal limit — a conviction that may impact the rock star’s ability to travel to the U.S.
Kroeger, 33, whose real name is Chad Robert Turton, is in Europe but will have to return for sentencing in May, Provincial Court Judge Peder Gulbransen ruled yesterday.
Prosecutor Michelle Wray said the Crown plans to ask for a $600 fine and a one-year driving prohibition.
Defence lawyer Marvin Stern, who plans to appeal the conviction, said it might hamper Kroeger’s freedom to travel into the United States.
However, Mike Milne, a spokesman with U.S. Customs and Border Protection, said the conviction by itself, does not automatically make a person inadmissible into the U.S.
Kroeger was speeding in his red $175,000 Lamborghini when he was pulled over by Surrey Mounties at 2 a.m. on June 22, 2006. The officer who first spotted the high-end sports car estimated its speed at more than 160 km/h.
The officer detected the scent of alcohol and noted that the rockstar’s face and eyes were red. When the Mountie asked for his licence and insurance, Kroeger handed the police officer his Visa.
The arresting police officer had Kroeger breathe into his face to detect alcohol. Stern argued this was an unlawful search and a breach of Kroeger’s rights.
The judge agreed with Stern that Kroeger’s rights were technically breached, but ruled that excluding the evidence would harm the reputation of the administration of justice.
Kroeger eventually produced two breath samples with a blood alcohol level of 0.14, almost twice the legal limit.
Kroeger was also charged with impaired driving, but the charge could not be proved without a reasonable doubt.