As much I as love winter, I do not enjoy the trip outside in the morning, to deal with the car. Scraping, waiting for the heater kick in, and avoid committing a crime! The Texas Department of Public Safety says "No puffing!"

In this case, "puffing" has nothing to with drugs or vaping. It's that thing we do when we leave our car unattended while it warms up. Not only is it against the law, but it's also dangerous as well.

We rationalize it to ourselves. "I'm going into Pak A Sak for just a minute so I'll leave the car running." I grew up in a tiny Texas town where no one locked their cars, ever. The passenger seat was where I kept my cassette case. My high school jacket was probably laying in the back seat with my school books, and maybe, my .22 rifle.

In 2019, that's nirvana for thieves. For years, I falsely assumed thieves didn't come out in the cold. But they are out...looking for "puffs" of smoke coming out of tailpipes, on vehicles running but unattended.

What could be worse on a winter morning, than finding your car gone? The DPS says 87% of cars stolen in 2018, were running, with the keys in them. You think someone would have a lot of damn gall, to steal a car, outside your home or workplace, but they do!

So much so, that it is against the law, to leave your car running, keys in it, and unattended. In fact, it's a Class C misdemeanor. There is no jail time with that, but you could see a $500 fine. Is a warm car, worth $500? Depends on who you ask, but I'd prefer to keep my $500 and buy a warmer coat. And gloves.

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