Grant Forrester was driving past the 1314 pub, in Whins of Milton, Stirling, when Thomas Graham, 75, who had been drinking inside, stepped in front of his car.
Mr Graham, a married father-of-two, with three grandchildren, from Stirling, had a blood-alcohol count equivalent to having drunk 16 single measures of whisky.
Mr Forrester, 45, had been driving his Renault Megane on the A872 through Whins of Milton well within the 30mph speed limit.
His defence counsel Shelagh McCall told jurors at Falkirk Sheriff Court it was beyond doubt Mr Graham was intoxicated to a level at which his judgment and assessment of risk could be affected.
She added: "There is also no doubt that at some point Mr Graham walked on to the carriageway, directly in the path of Mr Forrester's car." Mr Graham died from his injuries two days later in Forth Valley Royal Hospital, on November 18, 2011.
After a trial lasting five days, and three hours' deliberation, the jury found Mr Forrester, of South Scotstoun, South Queensferry, not guilty of causing death by careless driving.
The prosecution had claimed he had "failed to keep a proper look-out".
As the verdict was read out, members of Mr Forrester's family broke down in tears of joy and hugged each other, while Mr Forrester, now a warder at Cornton Vale women's prison, Stirling, sighed with relief.
Outside court, Mr Forrester said: "I just want to go home now," before leaving with his family.