You’ve seen him in the DWI ads and you’ve seen him out on the streets. But in person, State Police Officer Toby Lafave will tell you, he does this job for people like you and me.
“When I was a little kid I saw a State Police officer, back in the ’70s…I always thought someday I’ll be like him,” said Officer Toby Lafave.
Years later, that’s exactly what he’s doing.
“When the time was right…I made my dream come true,” said Lafave.
He joined State Police in 2002, and quickly found his passion, with the DWI Unit.
“It’s very disheartening knowing that people continue to drink and drive, seeing all the commercials, seeing all the ads, seeing all the fatals, children in vehicles and they still continue to do it,” he said.
He’s already at 130 DWI arrests on the year.
From the excuses he constantly hears, to the flirting he gets from suspected drunk drivers and even the close calls — he always takes his job very seriously.
“I believe that DWI is a very serious thing…I don’t think it’s a funny thing, so I let their actions speak for their level of intoxication,” said Officer Lafave.
For him, it’s a never-ending job — one that drives him to save lives.
“We don’t look for people to tell us ‘thank you’ or the recognition that we do get at times, it is nice to get it though, makes everything worthwhile,” said Lafave.
Officer Lafave attributes his ability to catch so many drunk drivers to good training, but says some of it comes naturally.
Very few officers ever hit 100 DWI arrests in a year. Last year, Lafave was honored by Mothers Against Drunk Driving for his work.