With summer now in full swing, police across the province are ramping up road checks for impaired drivers.

In the South Okanagan, in the communities of Summerland, Penticton and Osoyoos, the B.C. Highway Patrol says it checked more than 600 vehicles between July 4 to 6.

Ten drivers were handed immediate roadside prohibitions, two were removed from the road and one refused to provide a breath sample.

Immediate roadside prohibitions can range from three days to 90 days, depending on the driver’s blood-alcohol levels. Vehicle impoundments also occur.

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“Our B.C. Highway Patrol teams across the Okanagan will continue to focus on drivers impaired by alcohol and drugs through the summer season to reduce the serious injury and fatal collisions on our highways,” said Insp. Rob Nason, adding that drinking and driving can have devastating effects.

“People who drive while impaired can lose their privilege to drive; they may be involved in collisions with life-altering outcomes, and it can result in taking the lives of our friends, families and community members.”

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On Vancouver Island, 265 roadside breath tests were conducted in the town of Lake Cowichan during the Canada Day weekend.

Police say 26 drivers were found to be impaired, with 24 being impaired by alcohol and two impaired by drugs.

“Impaired driving is one of the leading causes of deaths on our roadways, so finding nearly one out of every 10 drivers we tested over the weekend impaired is of great concern to me,” said Staff Sgt. Adam Tallboy.

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“Drivers who have consumed drugs or alcohol have a number of options to get home safely instead of getting behind the wheel of their vehicle and endangering all other road users.”

Notably, police said a traffic stop for impairment in Duncan led to officers seizing an estimated $400,000 in contraband tobacco.

When officers stopped the truck, they found 46 cases of unstamped and untaxed cigarettes, with each case containing 50 cartons of cigarettes.

“Unstamped tobacco is a growing concern in B.C.,” said Sgt. Brad Robinson, who estimated the tax loss at $250,000.

“Our BC Highway Patrol officers are committed to using their pipeline training to investigate those involved in trafficking illicit tobacco. Tax revenue collected from tobacco products supports our healthcare system and the sale of unstamped tobacco is often tied to organized crime.”