Drinks industry watchdog, The Portman Group, has called on the UK government to direct more resources towards tackling the problem of binge drinking and put it on a par with the fight against drink driving.

In a statement released yesterday. The Portman Group also urged the government to impose compulsory training for doctors and nurses on the use and misuse of alcohol.

The demands were two of 35 recommendations made by the Portman Group, in response to the government's consultation on alcohol harm reduction.

Jean Coussins, chief executive of the Portman Group, said: "It is vital that the general public become more aware of the dangers of binge drinking and drunkenness. The message on drink driving has achieved a massive turnaround in behaviour because it has been delivered consistently over 25 years, backed by law enforcement and enough money to get noticed. The same commitment and perspective need to be applied to the task of cutting public drunkenness."

The report went on to also recommend that the drinks industry itself adopt a series of measures, including unit information on all product containers; responsible consumer marketing campaigns; responsible server training in licensed premises and compliance with the trade's published guidelines on pub promotions to be written into the secretary of state's guidelines on the new licensing laws.

However The Portman Group also warned the government against introduction of measures that would penalise the majority of responsible drinkers.

Coussins said: "Our research shows that the British public will back targeted measures to crack down on irresponsible retailers who sell alcohol to children, people who drink-drive and those who commit alcohol related crime. But they will not stand for unnecessary interference in personal choices and legitimate business activities, which for the most part, are unproblematic."