Never to be trifled with, the roads and highways of Houston, Texas have turned treacherous and unforgiving.
"Folks we have mobile land mines running around on our streets and we can not have that any longer," said Harris County Sheriff Adrian Garcia after a rash of alcohol related road deaths.
In the space of 14 days fatalities have leaped well into double figures, the majority caused by drunk, wrong way drivers.
The worst of the alcohol-fueled carnage - a family of five wiped out on Beltway 8.
Law enforcement's plea to separate drinking and driving has taken on an added sense urgency.
"Help me get the message across that we can't have more blood spilled on our roadways, especially when it can be prevented," said Garcia.
"As bad as as its been in the last two weeks here we are coming into the July 4th weekend, so its frightening," said J.C. Mosier, spokesman for Harris County Constable Precinct 1 Alan Rosen.
But overnight the drinking, driving and the dying continued. On Richmond Road, a 23-year old woman was killed in a few violent seconds.
"She tried to pass a vehicle, overcorrected, left the roadway and then struck the two trees. She was dead upon arrival. l believed her to be intoxicated coming from a club," said Sgt. J.D. Rossman of the Houston Police Department.
And on Fannn Street downtown, yet another high velocity, collision involving a vehicle whose driver
made a flawed and fatal decision. Alcohol is suspected as a factor, but not yet confirmed.
"As more units arrived, they confirmed that the driver of the vehicle that was going the wrong way was pronounced dead here at the scene," said Sgt. Ignacio Izaguirre also of HPD.
In Texas there have been more than 4,000 wrong way crashes over the past five years with a death toll of at least 43. One fourth of those occurred here in Houston.
They are hard numbers that are getting bigger fast.
"If you don't value your life, please value the lives of those who share the road way with you," said Garcia.