Washington D.C. is considering a ban on spontaneous tattoos. PHOTO: Wikimedia Commons
Washington D.C. city government is considering a really bad idea: a 24 hour waiting period for tattoos and piercings. The proposal comes as part of a 66 page packet of proposed regulations on the body art industry. Some of the proposals have to do with the health and sanitation aspects of tattoos and piercings. The 24 hour waiting period does not. Washington D.C. health department spokesperson Najma Roberts said that this regulation is specifically meant to dissuade the drunk tattoo phenomenon:
“They can’t be responsible for themselves, as well as the person doing the work on them,” she said. “We’re making sure when that decision is made that you’re in the right frame of mind, and you don’t wake up in the morning . . . saying, ‘Oh my God, what happened?’”
Gilda Acosta was one of many tattoo artists who said that the regulation would be terrible for business:
“It would definitely be a direct hit to my income if I couldn’t tattoo people who come in and want work done on the same day.” She mentioned that about half of her business comes from walk-ins.
Paul Roe, another D.C. tattoo artist, agreed: “Why not 24 hours’ waiting time before shaving your head?” he asked.
Exactly. If we’re policing people’s bad decisions, there are far worse decisions than tattoos. How about 24 hours before committing to or breaking up a serious relationship? 24 hours before you can spend $200+ on music? In fact, if this is to prevent drunk tattoos, how about 24 hours before getting drunk in the first place?
And besides, everyone secretly loves it when a friend gets a really bad tat
Hopefully, D.C. residents will use the commenting period on this proposal to let their city legislature know that the 24 hour tattoo waiting period is a really dumb idea. Fortunately the legislature can’t just enact it immediately, they have to pass through the waiting period first.