It's time to quit puffing — and no, we're not talking about smoking (but you should probably quit that too).

According to a Facebook post from the Greeley Police Department (GPD), puffing is the act of leaving your car unattended and running with your key in the ignition and no anti-theft device. It's a common practice in colder weather and illegal in Colorado.

Get our free mobile app

But why? Let's break it down.

The reason why puffing is illegal in Colorado

While leaving your vehicle running to warm up or because you forgot something inside seems innocuous, it actually puts you at risk for auto theft.

GPD reports that Colorado sees around 4,000 auto thefts monthly and up to $848 million in theft damages annually. The agency noted that, in Greeley, puffer thefts increased by 447% from October 2021 to January 2022.

RELATED: Colorado State Patrol Hilariously Shares Auto Theft Prevention Tips 

"In case you forgot, Colorado is #1 in the nation in auto thefts. [Stolen] vehicles are often used in the commission of additional crimes," said GPD in the post. "Help us to help you. Please don't puff. These unattended vehicle thefts take literal seconds."

What really counts as puffing your vehicle?

The definition of puffing is fairly straightforward, but GPD says that people still find room for error.

It's important to remember that leaving your car running, even if you locked the doors or are leaving it for a "quick" trip, is still considered puffing and illegal.

Greeley Police Department // Facebook
Greeley Police Department // Facebook
loading...

"Yes, we have officers out warning and, if necessary, ticketing owners of puffing vehicles," said GPD. According to enginesoff.com, puffing fines can reach up to $100.

However, you are allowed to autostart your car and leave it unattended if you have anti-theft devices like steering wheel and pedal locks.


Learn more about Colorado's lesser-known laws in the gallery below.

Strangest Laws in Colorado You're Probably Breaking Right Now

We all try our hardest to follow the law, even when we don't agree with them. We took a look at some of Colorado's laws and discovered a few that make no sense at all.

We know drinking and driving is illegal, but did you know riding a horse while intoxicated is illegal. Or take a mule or donkey into a building could get you in trouble.

And whoever threw a missile at a car is someone we'd like to meet.

Take a look at Colorado's most outrageous laws on the books.

LOOK: What major laws were passed the year you were born?

Data for this list was acquired from trusted online sources and news outlets. Read on to discover what major law was passed the year you were born and learn its name, the vote count (where relevant), and its impact and significance.

More From ESPN Western Colorado