The average Briton will drink 18 pints of beer, three bottles of wine, one bottle of spirits and four glasses of fortified wine over the 12 days of Christmas, according to a special report in The Independent on Sunday. That is more than ever before – the equivalent of 137 units of alcohol in less than two weeks. And, says the paper, such consumption puts people at real risk of liver disease and other alcohol-related conditions. Excessive price-cutting by supermarkets, sales to under-age drinkers and cheap alcohol promotions are all blamed for pushing Britain near the top of the binge-drinking league. Now senior police officers, who have already introduced zero tolerance measures, are calling on supermarkets to remove alcopop-type drinks from their shelves. Spokesman Ken Jones, of the Association of Chief Police Officers, called on brewers, supermarkets and off-licences to become more responsible. Otherwise, he warned, the consequences would be horrendous, especially for young people. Meanwhile a study by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation has accused the drinks industry of opposing attempts to regulate the amount people drink because of the potential impact on profits. As a result, the foundation is urging the government "as a matter of urgency" to raise taxes on alcohol in line with inflation. The report's author Professor Rob Baggott claims there is a clear link between the "unbelievable" cheapness of alcohol and excessive drinking. He adds that there is also "clear pressure on landlords to sell x amount of alcohol every month and they will be forced out if they don't". The Independent on Sunday 17/12/06 pages 4 & 5