Policy Analysis

Public policies regarding health and safety can have powerful impacts on people’s daily lives. PIRE researchers and policy analysts identify, develop and evaluate effective public health and safety policies on national, state and local levels. The Institute’s research and analysis has encompassed a variety of policy areas, including traffic safety, drugs and alcohol, violence, firearms, educational programming and health care financing.

One key contribution to the policy field has been the development of computer simulation models. These models are based upon available research and empirical data. They enable decision-makers to explore alternative policy scenarios and predict the benefits of different policies or combinations of policies. Examples of computer models for simulation purposes that have been developed by PIRE include SimCom, a simulation model used to examine alternative strategies for reducing alcohol problems in a community or state, and SimSmoke, which tests alternative policy strategies to reduce smoking levels and initiation rates among the national population. Other policy analysis and development include the areas of underage drinking and impaired driving prevention, along with legal analysis of the effectiveness of statutory and judicial decisions on alcohol policy.

Selected Projects

Community Action for a Safer Tomorrow (CAST)
Principal Investigator: Jessica Edwards
07/01/13 - 12/31/14


Effects of Three Underage Drinking Laws on Youth Traffic Fatalities
Principal Investigator: James C. Fell
Sponsor: NIAAA
07/01/14 - 06/30/15


Improving Interlock Compliance with Computerized Education and Monitoring
Principal Investigator: Tara Kelley-Baker
Sponsor: NIAAA
07/05/14 - 01/31/15


Increasing Alcohol Law Enforcement Involvement in Impaired Driving Crackdowns
Principal Investigator: Jie (Julie) Yao
Sponsor: NHTSA
07/01/14 - 08/31/15


Translating Drinking and Driving Risk Information into Risk Perception
Principal Investigator: Mark Johnson
Sponsor: NIAAA
07/01/15 - 06/30/16


Treatment of PTSD in Residents of Battered Women's Shelters
Principal Investigator: Ted Miller
Sponsor: NIMH
07/18/12 - 06/30/15