Waiting period for tattoos? 'What I want, where I want it'

EUGENE, Ore. - Aaron Chester wouldn't show it for the camera, but he said one of his tattoos came from a spontaneous trip to the tattoo parlor.

"I went out and got it, and it hasn't always been my favorite," he said.

That spur of the moment tattoo might not have been possible under a 24-hour waiting period for tattoos proposed in the District of Columbia (An earlier version of this story incorrectly attributed the proposal to Washington state).

That isn't Chester's favorite, either.

"As a whole people should have control over their bodies and what they do with them," he said.

The legislation could have a widespread affect: 23 percent of Americans have a tattoo.

Cameron Straub, owner of Eugene Tattoo, said it isn't tattoo shops the law would limit.

"The public will be," he said. "So people getting tattooed for an event, or ceremony, or spontaneously."

A waiting limit for tattoos isn't just about saving people from bad choices. Lane County Public Health said the regulation could help prevent many of the risks that come with tattooing by giving the client more time to research the tattoo shop.

"Any time you're using a needle, whether it's skin or internal, there's a threat for transmitted disease," said Jason Davis with Lane County.

Chester has his own waiting period.

"I have to decide what I want, where I want it, wait a year before i get it," he said, "but it's my rule."