Each one of these hit-and-run cases has its own nuances. In this case, the driver of the car (Jeremy Jordan) was drunk and acting aggressively, out of character. When a grocery clerk refused to sell him more beer, on an early morning beer run, he grabbed the beer from the counter without paying and raced out of the parking lot, hitting a hapless bicyclist on the street. His license plate was shorn off in the accident, and its recovery lead to his switch apprehension. Although the case was hit-and-run, there was never much issue in catching and identifying the car driver.
The bicyclist, Eric Davidson, was also intoxicated. Indeed, he had a higher level of blood alcohol than that of the defendant, when has was finally apprehended and tested. But the cyclist was driving normally in a straight line, apparently obeying rules, just trying to get home without a car. His intoxication was not considered a contributing factor to the accident.
This case was unusual, as it unfolded, for the involvement of friends and caregivers on both sides. Friends of defendent Jeremy Jordan showed up on Portland bike websites (bikeportland.org) testifying to Jeremy's good character, while friends of the vicitm reported regularly on his recovery, and conduction events to raise money to support his recovery. Of course, a large cast of commentators on both tried to intervene. The cyclist victim's partner has maintained a blog of his recovery.
Jeremy the driver was sentenced to 70 months in jail plus a very harsh restriction on when he can regain his driver's license afer he gets out of jail. The reaction in Portland, based on published blog comments seems to favor the bicyclist, who may have been careless, but certainly threatened no such harm to others.
In all, it looks like Portland is reasonable satisfied with the verdict, based on a reading of the blogs there, but I would be curious what others think. Of course, you hit a different crowd of opinionmakers at the general Portland newspapers than at bikeportland.org. But it looks like Justice is served.
I hope for a recovvery of Eric Davidson, and perhaps the driver Jeremy Jordan will discover an new joy in bicycle riding when he becomes sober and joins the bike riding community while he is restricted from driving a car.