NJ trucker shut down following several alcohol-related violations

Updated May 7, 2024
'Shut Down' on green highway sign

A New Jersey trucker has been sidelined by federal officials because of his alcohol use.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) recently declared Gurpreet Singh to be an imminent hazard to public safety and ordered him to immediately cease operating any commercial motor vehicle (CMV) in interstate commerce. Singh was served the federal order on April 19, according to a statement from the FMCSA.

According to the agency, on March 28, while operating his CMV, Singh rear-ended a passenger vehicle on Highway 10 in Washington County, Hillsboro, Oregon and left the scene of the accident. After being located, an inspection of Singh’s truck revealed a bottle marked “vodka” inside the cab of his CMV. Singh was placed out-of-service and directed not to operate his CMV. Nevertheless, Singh blatantly disregarded his out-of-service order and operated his CMV later that same day in Clackamas County, Oregon.

After attempting to evade a sheriff’s deputy while operating his CMV, Singh was apprehended and found to be visibly impaired. Singh was arrested and testing showed he had a blood alcohol concentration of 0.07%, well over the .04 threshold for a CMV driver.

Under the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations, drivers with a commercial driver’s license (CDL) are subject to a variety of prohibitions on use of alcohol prior to and while driving CMVs, including a prohibition on using any alcohol within four hours of driving and a prohibition on driving with an alcohol concentration of .04 or greater. 

Prior to the March 28 incidents in Oregon, on August 31, 2023, Singh was operating his CMV in an erratic fashion in Pinal, Arizona when he was apprehended by police, according to the FMCSA. A preliminary breath test revealed a quick capture reading of .111% and Singh was arrested. 

Based on these incidents, Singh will be listed as prohibited in FMCSA’s Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse, and FMCSA is working with the state of New Jersey to disqualify his CDL. He is charged in Arizona with one count of driving under the influence of alcohol and one count of operating a CMV while under the influence of alcohol. Singh is also charged in Oregon with one count of driving under the influence of alcohol. 

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FMCSA’s imminent hazard out-of-service order says Singh’s “blatant disregard for the safety of the motoring public demonstrated by these actions substantially increases the likelihood of serious injury or death to you and the motoring public if not discontinued immediately.” 

Failing to comply with the provisions of the federal imminent hazard order may result in civil penalties of up to $2,304. Knowing and/or willful violations may result in criminal penalties.

A copy of the Imminent Hazard Order issued to Singh is available here.