This past Memorial Day weekend Arizona police arrested nearly 500 people for suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol. Although that may seem like an enormous number of DUI arrests, it actually marks an improvement over last year when 614 people were arrested. In fact, it is the third year of a downward trend in DUI arrests during Memorial Day weekend.

In 2010 Arizona police made more than 800 DUI arrests during the same time period.

There were more than 1,300 Arizona law enforcement officers engaged in actively searching for drunk drivers during the three day holiday weekend, and although the numbers have been trending downward it seems likely the state will continue to press the issue, especially during holidays when Americans might be more prone to down a few brews and then hit the road.

Alberto Gutier, director of the state’s DUI Task Force under the Arizona Governor’s Office of Highway Safety, said nearly 1,300 officers in Arizona worked DUI checkpoints over the weekend to nab revelers who were driving while intoxicated.

Gutier said he expected police to have arrested up to 550 drivers by the end of Memorial Day. That number continues a three-year downward trend in Memorial Day DUI arrests. In 2011, 614 people were arrested. In 2010, 849 were arrested.

Gutier said a number of forces drive the number of arrests on any given year including the number of police on patrol, the weather and events occurring inside the city that would keep people closer to home.