Shaun McManus crashed into Korean war veteran John Morton as the 78-year-old crossed the road in Falkirk last November.
McManus did not stop to help Mr Morton, who never recovered from his injuries. The 31-year-old was later traced by police, who found him "unsteady on his feet and slurring his words".
McManus was remanded in custody after he admitted to a charge of causing death by dangerous driving when he appeared at the High Court in Glasgow.
McManus - who had a previous motoring conviction for failing to provide a breath test - will learn his fate when he returns to the dock next month.
Lord Turnbull told him: "It is plain that you were drunk and in that condition you drove dangerously in a busy street.
"It is disgraceful and upsetting in the extreme to think a 78-year-old man had his life ended in such circumstances."
Mr Morton, a retired whisky rep, served in the Korean War between 1950 and 1953. The court heard he was described as a "well educated, sociable and good humoured individual".
McManus was driving despite having no insurance. Prosecutor Alex Prentice QC said the ground worker had been heard "revving and screeching away" in the car.
He was then spotted on CCTV driving towards the pensioner and, despite having an uninterrupted view, he collided with Mr Morton.
Mr Prentice told the court that the pensioner died due to head and neck injuries including skull and spinal fractures.