Mandatory 24-Hour Waiting Period for Tattoos Proposed in D.C.

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Individuals hoping to emblazon their bodies with tattoo art may have to endure a mandatory 24-hour waiting period, if a proposition by the city’s Health Department is adopted.

“The licensee or operator of a body art establishment shall ensure that no tattoo artist applies any tattoo to a customer until after twenty-four hours have passed since the customer first requested the tattoo,” reads a portion of a new set of regulations from the federal city’s Department of Health.

Najma Roberts, a spokeswoman for the Department of Health, defended the proposed regulation in an interview with the Washington Post, saying it will help prevent “serious health risks.”

Roberts also said it will save individuals from regret if they seek out a tattoo while intoxicated.

“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?’”

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