When a Midland group needed a theme song for its campaign to end drinking and driving, the choice was obvious.

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“Might as well go for a soda, nobody drowns and nobody dies,” Canadian rock icon Kim Mitchell sang on his 1984 hit single Go for Soda, seeming to imply people should choose pop over booze.

The Safe and Sober Awareness Committee of Midland liked that message and wanted Mitchell to record a public service announcement to capitalize on the song’s enduring popularity. But members were doubtful they could get Mitchell to lend his voice to their cause.

“Right. We’re going to get Kim Mitchell to do this for us,” the other committee members told Southern Georgian Bay OPP Const. David Hobson when he floated the idea, Hobson said.

“You let me worry about getting a hold of Kim Mitchell,” Hobson, who grew up in Peterborough and attended Kenner Collegiate, told the other committee members.

That didn’t prove to be an issue. Mitchell and his management team were eager to jump on board when Hobson, a fan of Mitchell’s since his days in the band Max Webster, got in touch, Hobson said.

Mitchell fans can expect to hear Go for Soda and other hits such as Patio Lanterns and I Am a Wild Party when Mitchell performs at The Venue on Feb. 22.

Even though Mitchell has said he and lyricist Pye Dubois didn’t intend the song as a statement against drinking and driving, the lyrics easily lend themselves to that message. When MADD endorsed the song and started to use it in their campaigns in the 1980s, Mitchell said he was pleased to let them.


Whatever the original intent, the idea of the song as an anti-drinking and driving anthem has now been cemented, as the public service announcement hits airwaves across Ontario and in the Northwest Territories.

Hobson said he has one goal in mind for the public service announcement.

“If it saves a single life, if it saves a single person from serious injury, that will be an amazing achievement,” Hobson said.

The public service announcement comes in time to reinforce Festive RIDE patrols police are currently conducting across the province.


In Peterborough and Lakefield, police have stopped 1,350 vehicles during RIDE patrols over four nights so far this season, traffic unit Sgt. Jeff Chartier said. None of those stopped had high enough blood-alcohol levels to face criminal charges, Chartier said.

But six people blew “warns”. That means their blood alcohol ratio was 50 milligrams of alcohol to 100 millilitres of blood. At that level, police seize a person’s licence for a minimum of three days and their insurance company gets notified.

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Those numbers are about “par” for this point in the season and include one night of patrols during the recent ice storm when few people were on the roads, Chartier said. The RIDE program continues through New Year’s Eve, when officers will be out in full force.