Britons are the worst binge drinkers in Europe, and Europe leads the world in alcohol consumption, a European Commission survey says.
The findings reveal that Britons drink more booze in one sitting than people in any other EU state.
The study, which interviewed 18,000 people from across the EU, revealed that 12 per cent of Brits down more than seven alcoholic drinks in a drinking session, and is likely to fuel concerns about the toll excessive drinking is taking on British society.
A spokesman for Eurobarometer, who carried out the survey, warned about the dangers of binge drinking.
The spokesman said: “Europe is the region with the highest per capita alcohol consumption in the world, and Britain tops the league for the largest volumes drank in single sessions.
“The high level of drinking brings with it a high level of harm, in the form of social disorder and injury.
“In the European Union, harmful and hazardous alcohol consumption is also the third largest risk factor for ill health, responsible for 195,000 deaths each year.”
And in contrast to the UK the survey’s most restrained drinkers were found in Italy, where nine out of ten respondents said they never have more than two drinks in a sitting.
The survey is another indictment of the failure of the nation’s controversial 24-hour drinking laws to create a European-style café culture.
Last week BBC presenter John Humphrys and ex-Met Police chief Sir Ian Blair described the effect of Labour’s 24-hour drinking laws as disastrous.
Sir Ian stated his belief that the policy of all-day drinking was a “serious mistake” while Mr Humphrys slammed the alcohol-fuelled violence in his home city of Cardiff.
Sir Ian, who left the Met Police in 2008, said the hoped for ‘café culture’ was never achievable for Britain and now our cities need to be saved from the chaos left behind.