Esteysi “Stacy'' Sanchez, 29, pleaded not guilty to the charge at a hearing at the Vista Courthouse. If convicted she faces 15 years to life in prison.
Sanchez will still face DUI and hit-and-run charges.
During the hearing, protesters rallied outside the courthouse in support of the victim, and other victims of undocumented immigrants.
Sanchez told police she drank twice the night of June 27 before slamming into 69-year-old Jack Ray Tenhulzen in the 4000 block of Mission Avenue about 6:30 a.m.
Deputy District Attorney Aimee McLeod said Sanchez hit Tenhulzen so hard that he was stripped of some of his clothing.
Sanchez drove for at least a half-mile with the victim's body partially inside her Pontiac sedan and his detached leg on the trunk of her car before pulling into a cul-de-sac on Magdalena Drive, authorities said.
The defendant ran to her home -- located about a block away -- and was arrested by police an hour later, the prosecutor said. Sanchez still had shards of glass in her hair when she was taken into custody, McLeod said.
Sanchez had a blood-alcohol content of between .18 and .19 percent -- well above the legal limit of .08 -- two hours after the accident, McLeod said.
Besides murder, Sanchez is charged with gross vehicular manslaughter, hit-and-run, two DUI counts and driving without a license. She will be back in court Sept. 27 for a readiness conference.